Dehydration Symptoms, Causes and the Role Electrolytes Play
We all know that staying hydrated is good for us, but there’s a lot more to it than just drinking water. In fact, drinking enough water doesn’t necessarily mean you’re hydrated. Adequate water intake is essential for good health, but it’s the electrolytes in that water that keep your body functioning properly.
Did you know that most of today’s water and food sources among the typical American diet lack electrolytes? Your body depends on these vital nutrients to function properly. Major electrolytes include potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and chloride.
Any level of dehydration can have health consequences, but luckily it can be an easy fix. Here I’ll discuss the main causes of dehydration, health risks, and symptoms to look out for. As always, I’ll provide a solution – in this case, a way to rapidly refuel electrolytes and get out of the danger zone.
The Role Electrolytes Play
The leading cause of dehydration is electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes come from certain foods and liquids but are lost when you exercise, sweat, or urinate. As their names suggest, electrolytes have an electric charge that allow your nerves to communicate with each other.
Let’s look at the main electrolytes and their vital roles in good health:
- Heart contraction
- Muscle function
- Blood pressure
- Proper heart rhythm
- Bone integrity
- Nerve communication
- Protein-fluid balance
- Fluid balance
- Nerve signaling
- Muscle contraction
- Blood clotting
- Bone/teeth health
- Nerve response
- Cell division
- Cellular fluid balance
- Blood pressure, PH, and volume
Causes of Electrolyte Imbalance
If you have a poor diet, drink too little (or too much) water, get sick, or exercise and sweat, you’re at risk for electrolyte imbalance. You’re also susceptible to dehydration if you have kidney problems or take certain medications like hormones, diuretics, and antibiotics.
Let’s look at these factors:
➔ Poor diet
Electrolytes and other nutrients are found in whole foods, not processed ones. Packaged foods usually contain excess sodium and ingredients that contribute to dehydration. Adequate water intake (and a healthy diet of course) helps to promote hydration, which is necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
Tip: Using sea salt instead of table salt can drastically improve your health!
Find out why here.
➔ Water intake
Drinking just enough water is critical to staying hydrated. Electrolyte imbalance stems from not enough water or too much water in your body. The key is to drink enough water so that you keep your sodium and potassium levels just right.
How much water is enough? This is determined by lifestyles factors: activity level, age, diet, sweat production, etc. The general guideline of 64-80 ounces daily tends to provide most adults (who are not athletes) with enough hydration BUT this water should really be filtered and contain electrolytes. Since the concentration of electrolytes in drinking water can vary greatly, I suggest supplementing.
Note: If you’re active, you really need to consume extra water during and after exercise AND supplement with electrolytes. This could be 12-24 ounces extra depending upon workout length.
Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of blood, and high fever with sweating can all contribute to fluid loss and dehydration.
Sweating and exposure to high temperatures puts you at high risk for dehydration.
Since the kidneys help regulate electrolyte balance, damage or disease of this organ can really impact electrolyte levels. Chemotherapy treatments can also interfere with calcium and potassium levels. Some medications increase fluid loss and therefore increase dehydration risk. Since some hormones regulate fluid levels and electrolytes, a hormonal imbalance can trigger dehydration.
Top 10 Dehydration Symptoms
An electrolyte imbalance can’t hide and symptoms can show up quickly.
Here’s what to look out for:
- Muscle changes: weakness, aches, twitches, spasms
- Extreme thirst
- Heart changes: palpitations, irregular heartbeat
- Disorientation: confusion, lack of focus
- Blood pressure changes
- Joint pain/numbness
Many people who frequently experience any of the above may not be aware that they are dealing with preventable dehydration symptoms. They may assume they have muscle pain, headaches and trouble concentrating “just because.” With an estimated 75% of Americans experiencing chronic dehydration, you can imagine how some of these symptoms become “normal.”
If left untreated, chronic dehydration can lead to serious health problems that involve the brain, kidneys, skin, and heart.
The Fast Road to Replenishing Electrolytes
Avoiding an electrolyte imbalance in the first place is most ideal, but when you suspect an issue, you’ll need to respond quickly. The need for a quick solution, along with such a high percentage of people experiencing chronic dehydration, inspired my electrolyte supplement formula “Super Hydration Boost.”
Along with the major electrolytes your body requires, Super Hydration Boost also provides you with superior antioxidants and minerals such as Vitamin C, zinc, selenium and iodine. It’s available in capsules or powder form to easily add to water, or if you’re on the go like me, you’ll appreciate the individual packets. Whether you need to maintain electrolyte levels or boost them on the fly, Super Hydration Boost gets the job done – without any sugar, artificial colorings or flavors!
"Ordered this stuff to help with hydration after bicycling in the heat. Works great for that, as well as for during work when it is in 100s. I have more energy at the end of the day after drinking this periodically through the day.I can hop on my bicycle when I get home and pedal a dozen miles without feeling drained."
Steve | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Super Hydration Boost
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