A sneaky way to hydrate

You’ve probably heard the word “electrolytes” when people talk about staying hydrated. But what are electrolytes exactly?

And do you just find them in sports drinks?

The short answer is no. Don’t tell the folks at Gatorade…

Electrolytes are salts. More precisely, they are mineral salts. And they can do a lot of good in the body.

Calcium, potassium, magnesium, and other minerals all fall under the electrolyte umbrella. That’s right—they aren’t mystery molecules. They’re the kind of thing we’re all trying to get more of into our bodies for better health.

Electrolytes work hard to keep our bodies hydrated by regulating the flow of water in and out of cells. They are the heavy lifters when it comes to staying hydrated.

We need them as much as we need water. And not just when we’re sick.

Okay, so I’ll just pick up a six pack of those electrolyte fortified drinks to have on hand, you say.

You could do that, but you’d also be getting a lot of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and colors if you did.

Now you could drink a “Smart Water,” but there’s no reason to. And I’ll tell you why.

There are hidden electrolytes in our food! That’s right—they were there all along. In fact, you’ve probably got electrolytes hiding in your fridge right now. (Who knew?)

Fruits and veggies:

Leafy green veggies like arugula, kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are chock full of potassium, an important hydrating electrolyte.

The same goes for sweet potatoes, bananas, and raisins.

Dairy:

The calcium in dairy products like cheese, yogurt, kefir, and milk is a hydrating electrolyte for your cells.

Salt:

Good ol’ salt in foods is actually an important electrolyte for your body. Pick up a jar of olives, pickles, or a can of tuna for a salty boost to your hydration levels. If you’re worried about your salt intake in general, especially when it comes to your BP, make sure you’re getting enough potassium. Because it’s generally not the salt that’s the problem, it’s not getting sufficient potassium to balance it out.

Other whole foods that pack in a lot of hidden hydration include…

Celery – it’s a miracle hydrator at 96% water. And an impressive electrolyte assortment of potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Watermelon – the name says it all – it’s a wonder it doesn’t fall apart.

Strawberries – the most water packed of the berries, and also bursting with potassium too.

Cucumbers – chock full of water and with electrolytes potassium & magnesium.

Tomatoes – they’ve got about as much water in them as watermelon.

Bell peppers – impressive at 92% water plus lots of vitamin C.

And you’re not just looking at sports drinks or fortified water if you want to drink your electrolytes, either.

Coconut water and natural juices without added sugar are great sources of hydration before or after exercise. I find after a workout, a small glass of coconut water really perks me up, especially on a hot Texas day.

Now of course, clean water is important. But you should drink it with an understanding of what keeps our bodies truly hydrated.

All right, so the million-dollar question: how much water (and how many electrolytes) will you have today?

God Bless,

Jeff Reagan

Editor, Patriot Health Alliance

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3 thoughts on “A sneaky way to hydrate

  1. I’m curious if you’ve heard of sole and what you think about it. It’s really a saturated salt solution made with pure (RO) water and Himalayan pink salt. I keep it in a jar and put about a tsp in with my power greens in the mornings. The minerals in the pink salt are supposed to help for those of us who drink purified water, and people say it helps you stay hydrated throughout the day. I personally also like the salty flavor it adds to the green juice, but that’s my preference. 🙂

  2. I read your article I must confess made me confused. My husband (86 yrs.) has Addison (recently diagnosed) and is on a low or no potassium diet. He is also a diabetic. Now try to marry those two diets together. Now recently he is for no reason at all bleeding in the brain. Just a few days ago that came to light through a MRI. Yet my husband does not show the signs of having had a stroke. Except another condition popped up beginning of Alzheimer or dementia. He has no smell, no taste and hearing diminished to almost zero. Hearing aids have no use. We tried the best of the best to the tune of $ 7000.–. (We have been together a few months short of 69 years/married 64 yrs). He also has pulmonary fibrosis and is a cancer survivor. Any suggestions to sail through all the problems here? And by the way he is steadily loosing weight. This because he just is never hungry and eats like a bird. We realize that life is not forever, but preferably we like to die healthy as God intended us to.

  3. I am totally with you with “electrolytes” Jeff, but not with the salt.

    Refined salt is the primary reason salt has such a bad reputation. It’s the same stuff you find in processed foods.

    Our bodies actually need salt, but most research has revolved around refined table salt – and the results have shown that this refined stuff is not good for you. 
    But not all salt is bad… it’s the kind of salt that’s causing problems.

    Refined table salt is pretty scary, actually. It often contains anti-caking agents, some of which have been linked to heavy metal toxicity and kidney problems.

    A common preservative in these refined salts, sodium acetate, may cause elevated blood pressure and kidney disturbances.

    But the truth is, unrefined sea salt is actually good for you. It helps balance your blood sugar, keeps your bones strong, regulates your metabolism, boosts your immune system.

    Natural, unrefined sea salt also provides a number of nutrients and minerals, in a way that the body recognizes and knows how to use.

    You can find many kinds of unrefined salt right in the store but check the label; it must say “unrefined” – some sea salts are still refined.

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