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Have you ever experienced cramps, dizziness, or muscle weakness during a workout? You may be suffering from imbalanced electrolytes. Imbalanced electrolytes can also lead to muscle spasms, fatigue, confusion, slow or irregular heartbeat, nausea, and dry mouth. Sounds fun right? There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through your workout and feeling weak and dizzy. So, what are electrolytes and what are the best electrolyte supplements?
What are these magical electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge. Electrolytes are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, bicarbonate, and sulfate. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are the four major electrolytes that maintain the body’s fluid balance. Whenever you sweat heavily through exercise, electrolytes are lost. It’s important to replace these lost electrolytes during and after exercise to maintain body fluids concentrations. Electrolyte imbalance can also be caused by loss of body fluids through prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, or high fever.
If you are following a ketogenic diet it is important to supplement with electrolytes. Lower carb diets are diuretic in nature, meaning the kidneys shift from retaining water, and sodium, to flushing them. This excretion of excess fluid is normal but also removes many of the electrolytes necessary to enable many of the body’s biological processes, including proper function of the heart, muscles, nerves, even sleep.
How do I choose a supplement?
There are thousands of electrolyte products on the market from sports drinks, powder mixes, tablets, performance chews, jelly beans, and supplements. Seriously, when I searched for “electrolytes” on Amazon there were over 7,000 results!
My goal when choosing an electrolyte replacement was to find an affordable, high-quality supplement without added preservatives and excess sweeteners. I originally researched electrolytes when I was following a keto diet plan, so I wanted to make sure there weren’t a lot of carbohydrates in the supplement. When you are only eating/drinking 20 carbs a day every carb counts.
I also wanted to find the electrolyte supplement that would be best for my daughter. My daughter drinks Ultima Replenisher and really likes the flavor. I cringe when I see kids drinking sugary “sports drinks”. For example, Gatorade Frost has 34 grams of sugar! The first two ingredients
In a previous post, I mentioned that I was tempted to try Beachbody Performance supplements. They offer an electrolyte supplement called Hydrate, however, it does not contain as many milligrams of electrolytes as the ones that I am recommending. It also contains 9 grams of sugar and is more expensive at $0.87 per serving. So, here are my top choices for electrolyte supplements.
Top Four Electrolyte Supplements
My top choice based on taste, convenience, ingredients, and price. Ultima contains zero sugar, zero calories, is caffeine
Cost: $0.35 per serving (as of 09/14/18 at 1:31 pm – see note)
Contains no calories, sweeteners, carbohydrates, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It is not flavored and just adds a slightly tart and salty flavor to water. Contains 6 minerals and electrolytes.
Cost: $0.40 per serving (as of 09/14/18 at 1:31 pm – see note)
Each tablet has 10 calories or less and 4 carbs or less depending on the flavor. Made with natural sweeteners. The tablets are effervescent, which makes your water fizzy. However, it takes about five minutes to completely dissolve and has a lighter flavor than Ultima. Contains 4 electrolytes. Cost: $0.47 per serving (as of 09/14/18 at 1:31 pm – see note)
If you prefer a capsule instead of adding something to your water I would recommend this product. It contains no calories, no additives, and no artificial flavors. It includes 4 electrolytes. Cost: $0.16 per serving (as of 09/14/18 at 1:31 pm – see note)
Electrolyte Rich Foods
It’s also important to eat
Why not just drink water?
You might ask “Why can’t I just drink water?” Excessive water consumption without electrolyte supplementation can actually cause a dilution and, potentially, depletion of electrolytes called Hyponatremia. If you never take in any electrolytes but drink a ton of water, you run the risk of water intoxication. Water Intoxication occurs when the balance of electrolytes in the body is outside of a safe range, and it can be very dangerous. Even if that weren’t a risk, electrolytes play a major role in the body and you need them for proper function.
It is important to keep your electrolytes balanced to avoid crashing during a workout and to prevent other health issues. Try one of the top four supplements I have recommended and make sure to eat natural sources of electrolyte-rich foods. If you choose a supplement that is not listed, make sure that you choose a supplement with very little or no added sugar, no preservatives, and no artificial colors or flavors. If you try one of the supplements I’ve recommended let me know what you think!
Note: Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.