Health Bite: Electrolyte 101

Brian GermanFeatures, Health Bite

Sports drinks like Gatorade have done a great job highlighting the need to replenish electrolytes, but does anyone know what they are and why they’re important?

Hi I’m Rachel Eslick with today’s AgNet West Health Bite.

Electrolytes are essential minerals that exist in the body, like sodium, calcium and potassium. When we sweat, some of those minerals are excreted too. Ever accidentally taste your salty sweat?

These minerals are responsible for regulating muscle contractions, balancing pH levels and controlling the nervous system. An imbalance of electrolytes leads to muscle cramping, dehydration, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and generally not feeling well.

If we only chug water to replace what’s been lost through sweating, the balance of electrolytes could be a little off. In the summer when we tend to sweat the most, this is the time to pay more attention to electrolyte balance.

Sports drinks claim to have electrolytes, but traditionally they’re not the healthiest, with added sugar or fake sugars and flavors like blue raspberry. What even is that?!

Every year, I share with my clients a drink recipe that uses naturally occurring electrolytes like coconut water, lemon and lime juice, magnesium and salt.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 Cup Coconut Water
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Honey
  • Squeezed Juice of 1 Lemon or Lime 
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Natural Calm Magnesium

Mix it together in a big pitcher and drink up when you have highly active days or feel like water alone isn’t cutting it. I know I need salt and electrolytes when I drink all the water and still feel thirsty. If I don’t have all the ingredients for this drink, coconut water alone is a great alternative.

You can also make a super simple drink with water, juice of half a lime, and a dash of salt.

For even more convenience, there are packets of electrolytes you can mix with water. One that I trust is LMNT.

The biggest thing I’ll caution is that if you’ve been told to be on a low sodium diet, check with your doctor before using supplements or adding salt to your beverages. 

Health Bite: Electrolyte 101
Rachel Eslick

For AgNet West’s Health Bite, I’m Rachel Eslick. I can help you reach your health and fitness goals with 1:1 and group training. Visit