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Get Your Drink On


Adequate hydration is essential for overall health. Water is necessary for virtually all body functions, including transporting nutrients, regulating body temperature and flushing out waste and toxin.


Both electrolyte and regular water count towards your daily fluid needs, as do other beverages such as coffee, tea, fruit juices and milk.


It’s a common misperception that electrolyte water is superior to regular water for hydration. In reality, it depends on the circumstances.


So What Is Electrolyte Water?

Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electricity when dissolved in water.

They’re distributed through the fluid in your body and use their electrical energy to facilitate important bodily functions .

Electrolytes are essential for:

  • Controlling your fluid balance.

  • Regulating your blood pressure.

  • Helping your muscles contract — including your heart.

  • Maintaining the correct acidity of your blood (pH).

Common electrolytes include sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium.

Electrolyte waters are enhanced with these charged minerals, but the concentrations vary.


Unless it’s labeled “distilled,” your regular bottled water provides at least a small amount of electrolytes, and many products contain trace amounts for taste.


Tap water has electrolytes as well. On average, 34 ounces (1 liter) of tap water contain 2–3% of the reference daily intake (RDI) for sodium, calcium and magnesium but little to no potassium.


So Do You Need Electrolyte Water?

Electrolyte water is enhanced with minerals your body needs to function optimally, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride.


While it’s unnecessary to drink electrolyte-enhanced beverages all the time, they may be beneficial during prolonged exercise, in hot environments or if you’re ill with vomiting or diarrhea.


Sports drinks and other electrolyte waters can be pricey, so you may want to consider a homemade version. Not only are these cheap to make, but they provide electrolytes without artificial colors or flavors.


Here is an easy lemon-lime sports drink recipe to try at home:

Yield: 4 cups (946 ml)

Serving size: 1 cup (237 ml)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 tsp of salt

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of lime juice

  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) of unsweetened coconut water

  • 2 cups (480 ml) of cold water

Unlike store-bought versions, this recipe provides a refreshing boost of electrolytes without added sugar or any artificial colors or flavors.


Time to start drinking your water, whether it be regular or electrolyte, especially in these hot months!

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