Electrolytes conduct electricity when they dissolve into water. Electrolytes can be found in food and drinks as essential minerals. Electrolytes can be found in the following examples:
It is essential to get the right amount. Learn about the best sources of electrolytes in food, how many electrolytes an individual needs, and other information.
Electrolytes are found in many foods and beverages, including:
Leafy Green Vegetables: Spinach Kale and collard greens contain calcium and magnesium.
Other vegetables Avocados, sweet potatoes, and squash, contain a lot of potassium. The skin of potatoes is high in potassium and a great source of magnesium and phosphorous.
Fruits, Bananas, and dried apricots are rich in potassium.
Dairy Products: Yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products are excellent sources of calcium. These products also contain electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Seeds and nuts: Some seeds and nuts, like cashews or almonds, are good sources of magnesium.
Beans, lentils, and kidney beans: Lentils contain potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Tofu is a good source of calcium if it’s made with calcium sulfate.
Salty foods and table salt: Table salt containsTrustedSource approximately 40 % sodium and 60 % chloride. These electrolytes are also found in salty foods such as pickles and olives.
Breakfast cereals Some cereals have calcium, while others contain magnesium.
Electrolytes found in beverages
Electrolytes are found in some drinks naturally and others specially formulated.
Electrolyte-containing drinks include:
Milk, which is rich in calcium and potassium
Orange juice contains potassium, calcium, and sometimes calcium.
Coconut water is low in sugar and contains potassium, magnesium, and sodium.
Soy milk contains potassium and magnesium.
Tomato juice contains sodium.
Electrolytes are usually present in large quantities in sports drinks and recovery drinks. These drinks may appeal to athletes who want to increase their electrolyte levels before, during, and after workouts.
Which is better, food or drinks?
Both foods and beverages contain electrolytes that contribute to the overall electrolyte level of a person. Most people get enough electrolytes through their diet and do not require sports drinks or oral rehydration products.
The body controls electrolyte levels. In certain situations, electrolyte beverages or oral rehydration products may be beneficial.
Supplementation can be beneficial during periods of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Those who exercise intensely or lose electrolytes through sweating can use a sports drink.
Before taking electrolyte supplementation, individuals should consult their doctor or pharmacist. A high intake of electrolytes can cause electrolyte imbalances.
What do electrolytes do?
Electrolytes are essential for many bodily processes and functions. They are necessary for the following:
Balance blood pH and Blood Pressure.
Maintaining adequate hydration
Facilitating the transfer of electrical signals from the heart, muscles, and nerves to other cells
helping fix tissue damage
Regulating nerve and muscle functions, including muscle relaxation
Contributing to blood clotting
How many electrolytes will you need?
Most people should consume the following electrolytes daily to maintain good health.
PotassiumTrusted source:3,400 mg (mg) per adult male and 2,600 for adult females.
Source Calcium: 1,200 mg per day for women aged 51 and older and men aged 71.
MagnesiumTrusted source: 400mg for males, 310mg for females between 19-30 years old; 420mg for males, 320mg for females over 31.
PhosphorousTrusted source: 700mg for those aged 19 or older.
SodiumTrusted source: Maximum 2,300 mg but ideally not more than 1,500mg.
Chloride, The Institute of Medicine, has set dietary chloride to the same level as sodium. This is because almost all of the dietary chloride in our diet comes from salt.
Some minerals are required in higher quantities by pregnant or nursing women.
What is electrolyte balance?
Electrolyte imbalance occurs when the levels of electrolytes in the blood are too high or low. These imbalances can lead to health problems. They can even be fatal in rare cases.
Electrolyte imbalances can be caused by the following:
Vomiting or diarrhea
Type 1 diabetes
Some medications, such as diuretics
Mild imbalances might not produce many symptoms. However, more severe imbalances will cause a variety of symptoms. The symptoms a person feels will depend on whether they have too much or too little of a specific electrolyte.