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Electrolytes – Minerals For Well Being

Jul 30, 2023 | Holistic Nutrition - Food is Medicine | 0 comments

Wow, it’s hot out there! Summer arrived, and with it, heat and sweat. If you, like me, spend hours in the garden or are active, you sweat a lot right about now. Your sweat comprises water (99%), salts, and fats (1%). Don’t let the minute amounts of minerals in your sweat confuse you. In the body, minuscule amounts of minerals make a huge difference. If you sweat profusely, you might lose enough minerals to interfere with your normal body function.

What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are essential minerals that are critical for many functions in the body. They are essential because the body can’t produce them. Instead, you need to ingest them with your food. Electrolytes carry an electrical charge when dissolved in water; hence, they move things.

“In the human body, the minerals act as catalysts, participating in enzyme systems that allow the transformation of food and the air we breathe into energy, vibrant health, and consciousness.”
~ Herbalist Paul Bergner

What do electrolytes do for you?


In your body, electrolytes are dissolved in fluids. The body is “programmed” to keep a balance of fluid-electrolyte ratio. If a cell in your body is not hydrated, the electrolytes in that cell will “attract” fluids to maintain that balance.

Some electrolytes like sodium will activate your thirst response, prompting you to drink water and preventing dehydration.

Imbalances in sodium can affect your blood pressure and cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and feeling faint.

Energy production

Electrolytes that play a role in the breakdown of food in the digestive system, food absorption, and in the Kreb cycle, a chemical chain reaction that turns nutrients into energy.

Low levels of sodium, magnesium or potassium can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or an upset stomach.

One of the “side effects” of electrolyte deficiency is fatigue.

Muscle function

Calcium and magnesium play an essential role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Supplementing with magnesium can work miracles for any muscle cramps, from menstrual cramps to restless leg syndrome or plain old tension cramps.

Nerve signaling

Electrolyte allows electrical impulses to move along the nerves. By doing so, they communicate and catalyze all body functions, from heart rate to mood.

An imbalance in these electrolytes can lead to irregular heart rhythms, palpitations, or a sensation of a racing or fluttering heart.

In the nervous system electrolyte deficiency might look like depression, anxiety, or migraines.

PH balance

The body is made of different ecosystems. Each ecosystem is designed to support the chemical reactions that are to take place in that environment. The PH of an environment is an integral part of what makes it an optimal fit for its function. For example, the PH of the stomach is much more acidic than the PH of the colon.

Electrolytes are essential in maintaining the different PH in different body parts. Alteration in PH balance in the body could have severe results, even coma and death.


What leaches minerals from the body:


If you live a very active lifestyle, you probably sweat a lot and need extra care with your electrolyte consumption. People who sweat more than the average are people that:

  • Work in physically demanding jobs outdoors, such as farmers and construction workers.
  • Train regularly: hiking, running, biking, etc.
  • Enjoy a sauna or sweat lodge regularly.

Stomach flu

One of the risks of vomiting, diarrhea, or fever is the loss of electrolytes when you lose too many fluids. Although you might not feel like eating anything when sick, drinking bone broth will help you replenish your fluids and electrolytes.

A diet low in minerals

Sodium and potassium play a vital role in keeping the fluid minerals balanced in your body. A diet high in sodium and low in potassium, AKA fast food, can tip the balance, causing water retention and high blood pressure. Not having enough magnesium in your body can cause irregular heartbeat, muscle spasms, and neurological issues.


For minerals to be broken from the food and absorbed by the body, they need an acidic environment. The place in the body where minerals are extracted from food is in your stomach. If you are using Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) or any acid blocker regularly, then there is a good chance that you are depleted in minerals.

Replenishing electrolytes:

Many energy drinks are marketed as high in electrolytes; what they forget to tell you is that they are also high in sugar. Don’t fall into that trap.
In the summer, it is easy to replenish your electrolytes because nature offers us so much abundance.

Here are some ways to replenish your electrolytes:


Eat a well-balanced home-cooked meal.

  • Sodium can be found in table salt and fermented foods.
  • Potassium is abundant in fruits like bananas, avocados, beans, lentils, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes.
  • Calcium is present in dark green leafy greens, tofu, and certain types of fish like salmon and sardines.
  • Magnesium is found in pumpkin and chia seeds, almonds, cashews, rolled oats, legumes, and spinach.
  • Chloride is commonly consumed through table salt and is present in many foods, including tomatoes, rye, seaweed, celery, and olives.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is made by simmering bones in water and vinegar (2 Tbsp) for a long time. Water and vinegar are the best way to pull the minerals out of the bones. Since bones are high in minerals, the broth will be too.

Store-bought bone broth is not as rich in minerals as homemade one simply because time is money, so it was probably cooked faster. The bone broth requires patience. I use a slow cooker and let it simmer for a week before straining and using it. (Add water if needed)

Some electrolytes in bone broth are calcium and phosphorus and magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate, and fluoride.


Some herbs are known to contain a lot of minerals. The best way to use these herbs for their minerals is in water (tea) or infused in vinegar.

Some herbs you want to consider are red raspberry leaf, nettle, alfalfa, chickweed, horsetail, and peppermint.

Maple syrup and molasses contain abundant minerals; use them to sweeten your tea.

mineral rich beverage

How we practice modern agriculture reduces the mineral content in the soil and food we eat. It is important that we are aware of the crucial role that electrolytes play in our well-being and make a point to include them in our diets.



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Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

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