Fitness,  Food & Nutrition

Are Electrolyte Drinks Good For you & Should You Drink Them Every Day?

These days hydration is at the top of many people’s lists for improving their well-being. It is a very simple lifestyle change that can have a dramatic effect on your well-being. Especially, like me, if you drink a silly amount of Coffee on a daily basis. 

There is a growing trend of drinking Electrolyte drinks instead of water – with the rise of Prime, it seems that Electrolyte drinks are back in the zeitgeist. Funny, because Prime is certainly not a good Electrolyte drink, and it’s barely even a good soda alternative. 

So, we are looking today at whether Electrolyte drinks are good for you and whether or not you can drink them every day. Let’s get into it. 

Applied Nutrition Body Fuel


Are Electrolyte Drinks Good For You?

In a short sense, Electrolyte drinks can be good for you. But before we go deeper into the question, we wanted to outline a little more about what electrolytes are and how they are used by your body. 

Electrolytes are essentially raw substances that, when dissolved in water, have either a positive or negative electrical charge (all very sciencey). The electrolytes support several chemical reactions within the body, but importantly for us they maintain the delicate balance of fluid inside and outside of the cells. 

While they play a key role in your body, your kidneys filter out electrolytes in urine or when you sweat (why sweat tastes salty) – so you need to keep your levels topped up. 

The most common electrolytes found in drinks are Sodium (+), (or Sodium chloride), Potassium (or Potassium chloride, or Potassium Bicarbonate) and Magnesium (+), but you may also see Chloride (-), Magnesium (+), Calcium (-), Bicarbonate (-) and Phosphate (-).

Mainly, hydration salts contain sodium and potassium, with some sugar. The added sugar and electrolytes help the body absorb more water, and provide a source of glucose for muscle performance and recovery. 

So in short: electrolytes are good for you as they form an essential part of your diet, and healthy body function. However, you certainly can consume too many electrolytes which can have their own negative side effects. 


Should You Drink Them Every Day?

The answer to whether you should electrolytes every day absolutely depends on your personal circumstances and your individual health needs. It is a fact that your body needs electrolytes every day, and drinking an electrolyte drink every day has potentially huge benefits for your health. However, you can easily over-consume them which will cause an array of negative side effects. 

If you are a heavily active person, or you’re regularly in the sauna and sweating, it is a good idea to drink electrolytes every day to replenish the ones that you have lost. If you are, however, largely inactive or you have a diet already rich in sodium, drinking more will certainly cause health problems in the long term. 

If you are unsure, then it is a sure-fire strategy to note down what you have been eating and drinking, and try to track how many electrolytes you consume within a day, and try to understand whether you fall within the safe limits. 


Side effects of Too many Electrolytes

If you are finding that you’re over-drinking electrolytes then you’re likely to face some limited, or severe, side effects. 

  • Too Much Sodium: High blood pressure, dehydration, muscle cramps and nausea.
  • Too much Magnesium (Hypermagnesemia): Heart issues, breathing difficulties and weakened reflexes
  • Too Much Potassium (Hyperkalemia): Muscle weakness, cramps, confusion and irregular heartbeat
  • Too Much Calcium (Hypercalcemia): Headaches, digestive disruption and nausea, kidney damage and irregular heartbeat. 
  • Too Much Cholraide (Hyperchloremia): Acid reflux and acidosis (vomiting, nausia) and confusion. 
  • Too Much Phosphate (Hyperphosphatemia): Serious itching and Hypocalcemia (lowered calcium)
  • Too Much Bicarbonate: Acidosis (vomiting, nausea), fatigue and increased breathing rate (hyperventilation)


Final Thoughts

Overall, electrolytes are essential for your body, and your general well-being. However, there is a balance here: you can have too little but also have too much. While you can drink an electrolyte drink every day, you should do so with caution and carefully monitor your intake of electrolytes on a daily basis. 

Hopefully you have enjoyed this post and if you have any comments, feel free to leave them in the section below. 

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