By Dr. Darrin H. Starkey, N.D. Electrolytes, which were once only seriously discussed in athletic circles, are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in our world. With the introduction of sports drinks and the millions of dollars of marketing spent on advertisements and endorsements from athletes, you might be hard pressed to attend any sporting event that doesn’t have a cooler full of these drinks. More and more sports drinks are being perceived as healthy alternatives to soda, but in reality, they also contain artificial colors, preservatives, sweeteners, and other harmful substances. In a world already inundated with so many artificial chemicals, it’s important to understand not only what electrolytes are, but to also recognize that there are other healthy, affordable alternatives available for electrolyte replacement.
Simply put, electrolytes are electrically charged ions (minerals) that are essential to life. They help in the production of energy, nerve transmission, muscle contraction, pH balance, and fluid regulation between cells. Athletes are typically the most concerned with replenishing electrolytes due to their intense workouts and sporting events. However, anyone can develop electrolyte imbalances, especially those who work outdoors in hot temperatures or in dry, desert climates. Typically, a well-balanced diet of whole foods provides an adequate amount of electrolytes, but since most Americans cook it, nuke it, eat it out of a can, a box, or a pick-up window, the foods we eat are not providing us with the proper amount of electrolytes we need to stay balanced.
Dr. Chris Meletis tells us, “The average modern diet is devoid of sufficient minerals that allow us to fully enjoy wellness.” Over the past 200 years, soil erosion in the United States has increased significantly which has led to the depletion of trace minerals in our farmlands. Without a sufficient amount of minerals in our soil, plants can’t provide an adequate amount of nutrients our bodies need to remain balanced. So, it is imperative to actively take charge of our health and make sure we are getting the electrolytes needed to sustain our active lifestyles.¹
One of the most obvious signs of electrolyte imbalance is muscle cramping. However, by the time your body starts cramping from an electrolyte imbalance your reservoirs have already been depleted. Interestingly, Dr. Alexander G. Schauss points out that, “Even at the 2008 Super Bowl, played at a moderate temperature of the mid-70’s indoors, numerous well-conditioned athletes had to leave the field of play due to muscle cramping.”² If so many athletes struggle with these symptoms, even under rather ideal competition conditions, it makes one wonder how everyday activities might be depleting our electrolyte reserves on a regular basis.
While muscle cramping is generally a condition most of us may associate with athletes and exercise, athletes aren’t the only ones who deal with this condition. Anyone who has ever been awakened in the middle of the night with a leg cramp is suffering from an electrolyte imbalance. This imbalance can be caused by poor hydration, medication use, and/or stress.
While proper hydration plays a vital role in electrolyte balance, during times of excessive fluid loss it is not always enough. Whether you are a serious athlete or just enjoy exercise and physical activity, taking an electrolyte replacement regularly will help your body maintain balance. If you are one of the thousands who deal with muscle cramps, an electrolyte replacement will help ensure your body gets the minerals required to help prevent muscle cramps.
Trace Minerals Research’s Power Paks help replenish the body with essential electrolytes, provide electrical conductivity, and fluid balance to improve your performance or alleviate symptoms. Power Paks not only help provide balance, but they also supply over 72 ionic trace minerals that help with absorption and regulation of electrolytes. They come in single-serve packets that are easy to use when you’re on the go, just add water and create your own sports drink! With just one gram of sugar and no artificial colors or flavors, Power Paks are an ideal way to counteract electrolyte deficiency.
With an ever-increasing emphasis being placed on healthy living, having proper electrolyte balance is crucial to your well-being. However, mineral-deficient soils and fast-paced lifestyles make this quest for optimum health more difficult to achieve. But, drinking plenty of water and using a quality electrolyte replacement supplement can help protect you from the adverse effects of electrolyte deficiency and keep you functioning at your very best.
Meletis, Dr. Chris D., N.D. “Hydration & Electrolytes.” Trace Minerals Research, http://www.traceminerals.com/research/hydration_electrolytes, accessed 10 May 2016.
Schauss, Alexander G., PhD, FACN. “Electrolytes.”Trace Minerals Research, http://www.traceminerals.com/research/electrolytes, accessed 13 May 2016.