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Electrolytes

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Electrolytes are substances that carry and electrical charge. They are responsible for your energy, blood flow, muscle contractions, brain functioning... or in simple terms, they keep everything running.  

You need a specific balance of these electrolytes.

The big 4 are calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. You'll see some articles that list phosphorous, or chloride, or even baking soda.

One of our biggest problem is that most people are getting way too much sodium, and way too little of the others.

The hot new diagnosis is a 'Chemical Imbalance'.

Of course you have a chemical imbalance. If you eat the typical American diet, you do not have a balanced diet which of course means that you have an imbalance. Common sense, right? .

The hottest solution? Electrolyte waters.

Sports Drinks like Gatorade and Powerade contain electrolytes. The problem is, they also contain sugar. That’s how they give you an energy boost. So you don’t want to drink a lot of these. These drinks are meant to restore your electrolyte balance after an intensive workout - which doesn't apply to most of us, does it? They are not meant for every day consumption. If you are doing a heavy workout, or you're spending more than a couple hours doing very physical work, then by all means, down a Gatorade. Just remember that these larger bottles these days are actually 2 servings.

Then, there are fairly new vitamin water products on the market that also claim to restore your electrolytes. Read the labels and watch out for high sugar or fructose content.

A bottle of Propel contains 4 grams of sugar! The new Snapple vitamin water has 14 grams of sugar! Let’s put that in perspective –

A regular serving of Regular Whipped cream has less than 1 gram of sugar.

A teaspoon of regular sugar is 4 grams of sugar.

A serving (3) of European Belgian Chocolate Cookies has 10 grams of sugar

A serving of Chocolate Raspberry Decadence Warm Delights has 17 grams of sugar.

Do we really have to have as much sugar as you'd get in a piece of chocolate cake in our water too?

If you eat any packaged foods, you already get far too much sodium.

The first order of business is to start cutting packaged and fast foods out of your diet.

The next step is to visit these links and find the foods you need to get your electrolytes in balance.

Calcium

Magnesium

Potassium

Vitamin D is necessary for the proper absorption of these minerals.

And there is one more secret

You have to drink enough water for the whole system to work right. Now you can drink too much water, but I'm pretty sure we are in the don't drink enough category.

I still take a multi-vitamin, and a Calcium with magnesium and Vitamin D supplements as extra insurance. Do not take too much – and Do not take a separate potassium supplement unless you are working with a doctor.

If you see recommendations for drinking baking soda and water, I would approach this very carefully. Baking soda does help level your pH balance, but it can cause serious problems. If you take antacids, they contain bi-carbonate (baking soda). You can accidentally overdose simply by taking too many antacids.

Remember, the key to a healthy body is balance. Never take a high dose of a particular supplement unless you are working with a doctor trained in nutritional therapy.

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