As humans grinding every day, we usually make ourselves the last priority. We don’t sleep enough, eat well enough, or, perhaps most importantly, hydrate appropriately. Now, I know what you’re thinking — what the heck is hydrating “appropriately?” Aren’t we all drinking the same water, from the same sources, and putting them into the same human bodies?
Eh, not quite.
Hydrating appropriately is tantamount to replenishing electrolytes, or the electrically charged particles — colloquially called ions — that keep our bodies in balance. Whenever we sweat — urinate, vomit, et cetera, et cetera — we’re losing these valuable particles that preserve our bodies’ equilibrium. In other words, these little ions are very important to the state of your health. If you will, entertain this comparison. A car needs fuel to operate, right? It needs gas to get you from Point A to Point B successfully. Can you imagine what would happen if you filled up your tank with the wrong fuel? Or, worse, if the fuel you’ve put into your car has run dry? It ain’t good, guys and gals. Not at all.
What’s more, a scary signal that your electrolytes are out of balance is muscle fatigue. If you’re consistently cramping up, chances are you’re not getting the right fluids or nutrients back into your diet. You might start off the day with a cold glass of water and a healthy breakfast, but your body’s in a consistently delicate dance — whenever you sweat or expel waste, you’re losing these coveted ions.
So, what can you do? Educate yourself. Sodium, Chloride, and Potassium are some of the most crucial electrolytes, and can be found in a variety of food and beverages. Try kickstarting your day with an apple, or grab a handful of almonds and add them to your oatmeal. Apples and almonds are both fabulous ways to replenish your body’s electrolytes, and are economical opportunities to do so. Of course, there’s also Smartwater — a relatively new brand that’s emerged in the last several years. It boasts tons of electrolytes, but it’s expensive.
Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that, with the prolonged absence of necessary electrolytes, your body can be thrown out of rhythm, causing cardiac arrest; sometimes, even death. What does that mean? It means stop reading this, go grab a handful of almonds, a sweet potato, a large glass of water, or all of the above, and start hydrating right. After all, you’re living healthfully, but we can always do better.