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Quick & Healthy Rehydration!

Quick & Healthy Rehydration!

MonicaAt the yoga studio we’ve been talking about ways to get quick & healthy rehydration after extensive workouts. Our teacher (and guru) at Southside Yoga Studio in Stockbridge, GA, Monica, shared the following education on ELECTROLYTES 101:

An electrolyte is a substance that ionizes when dissolved in suitable ionizing solvents such as water, basically contains free ions making them electrically conducive. The best known primary ions of electrolytes in physiology are sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (Cl−), hydrogen phosphate (HPO42−), and hydrogen carbonate (HCO3−). The human body requires a subtle and complex electrolyte balance between the intracellular and extracellular environment. These gradients are very important to a variety of physiological body functions including regulating the hydration of the body as well as blood PH, and are critical for nerve and mucle function. Without a delicate balance of these electrolytes we can experience muscle weakness or overall loss of energy, muscle cramps, headaches, etc.

Although you now might want to reach for the readily available “Sports Drink”, please remember that most of them (if not all) are filled to the brim with artificial ingredients (some of them carcinogenic) as well as tons of sugar (or even worse artificial sweeteners). Here are some healthy alternatives (natural electrolyte-rich homemade drinks):

1) Most basic Natural Electrolyte Drink – 2 cups of filtered water, 1 cup of 100% fruit juice (e.g. apple, orange, lemon, cherry, lime or pomegranate – my favorite), 1/2 of a teaspoon of sea salt

2) Coconut water – 1 -2 cups of coconut water raw or blended with 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds (Superfood)

3) Electrolyte Blend – 2 Bananas, 3 cups of coconut water, 1 cup strawberries, 1 teaspoon of salt, juice of 1 lime, 1 cup of filtered water, 1 cup of ice; or 1 frozen Banana, 1 cup of Almond milk, 1 cup of Kale

4) for the “juice lovers” – juice 5 celery stalks, 2 apples, 1 cup of filtered water, 1 lemon

I’d like to add more on coconut water. It’s an excellent natural source of electrolytes, filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes and growth factors. It’s low in fat, high in potassium, and since it is low on the glycemic index, won’t dramatically impact blood sugar the way that many popular “sports drinks” can. In addition to rehydration, it has positive impact on fatigue, constipation, blood pressure, and kidney and bladder disorders because of its alkalizing effect on the body. Coconut water is effective because the primary electrolytes found in coconut water are pretty much the same found in human blood (add a pinch of pink sea salt and you’ve got an even better match).

As we all know, staying hydrated is very important for athletes and fitness practitioners young and old. Let’s teach our young athletes a better way of hydrating – naturally without artificial colors, carcinogens and unhealthy sugars. Like any other food, when not used fresh (young green coconuts), read the label to ensure its integrity is not compromised with additives or concentrates.

Happy experimenting …

- Monica (South Side Yoga) and Darlene Nazaire

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