Contribution: Rachna Arya
Electrolytes are vital minerals needed to regulate the body’s water and pH balance, along with many other important functions that keep you alive and kicking.
A good balance of each of these nutrients supports healthy muscles, brain function, hydration, blood flow and more.
Although there are several electrolytes, sodium (Na) and potassium (K) are the two prominent electrolytes that play the biggest role in helping our body stay hydrated.
Other key electrolytes include:
- Calcium (Ca)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Chloride (Cl)
However, you can develop an electrolyte imbalance—especially sodium—if you’ve just had an intense workout or are sick with vomiting and diarrhea.
Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance:
Fortunately, there are foods and drinks that can help you refuel, keep your muscles active, and possibly boost your performance.
If you are an endurance athlete who works out for long hours, you may need to replenish electrolytes more frequently.
In this article, we will list foods rich in sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
How to get optimal electrolyte levels
If you want to replenish your electrolytes, there are plenty of delicious foods that are high in electrolytes.
Read on to learn more about foods and drinks to help recharge your electrolyte reserves.
Drink unsweetened coconut water
Coconut water is an excellent source of the electrolytes calcium and magnesium. Not only is it super hydrating, it’s also a healthy alternative to soda, juice and traditional sports drinks.
One cup of coconut water contains about 350 mg of potassium, or about 13% of your daily value (DV).
Fortunately, coconut water is a popular alternative to bottled water and is widely available in grocery and convenience stores.
Because of their high potassium content, bananas are a rich dietary source of electrolytes.
A banana contains an average of 422 mg (16% DV) of potassium. Put some peanut butter on your banana for a protein boost, or mix it into your porridge for added fiber.
Consume dairy products
When it comes to electrolyte drinks, dairy products such as oat milk, coconut milk and other plant-based milk alternatives are good sources of electrolytes.
They are rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium. 100 ml of milk contains about 199 mg (20% DV) of calcium and 281 mg (10% DV) of potassium.
Cook white meat and poultry
You can hydrate and replenish electrolytes by eating white meat and poultry; 100 grams of white turkey meat contains 349 mg (12% DV) of potassium and 1200 mg (52% DV) of sodium, meaning you’re getting multiple electrolytes with every bite.
Avocados are an incredible source of potassium and magnesium, two minerals that are often depleted in athletes. A regular avocado contains 660 mg (22 percent DV) of potassium.
For an electrolyte-rich snack or breakfast, try avocado on toast with a sprinkle of cheese.
Drink pomegranate juice
While fresh-squeezed juices like oranges, lemonade, and bananas contain electrolytes, one fruit stands out: pomegranate juice.
One cup of this fruit juice contains 533 mg (18% DV) of potassium, making it an excellent source of electrolytes.
Serve with breakfast or as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. If you’re upping your electrolyte intake, stick to 100% fruit juice to avoid options heavy in added sugar.
Snack on watermelon
Some of the best sources of electrolytes come from watermelon. The fruit is high in electrolytes and water, making it a great source of hydration.
A medium-sized watermelon wedge contains 320 mg of potassium (11 percent DV). Watermelon, as the name suggests, is highly hydrating due to its 92 percent water content, making it an excellent post-workout snack.
Watermelons are a great source of electrolytes year-round, and they don’t have to be limited to summer.
Spinach, kale, chard, and beet greens are rich in potassium, magnesium, and healthy carbohydrates that help you absorb those minerals better.
These vegetables are also a great source of other micronutrients, making them a healthy addition to your diet.
Electrolytes are minerals that your body needs to function properly. When it comes to electrolytes, there is no single ‘best’ option.
There are many electrolyte options available. It all depends on your food preference and time availability.
You can maintain electrolyte levels by eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.
However, in some cases, electrolyte drinks may be necessary, especially if you experience high fluid loss due to sweating or illness.
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