Adding an electrolyte ritual to your daily routine can seem unnecessary, particularly with confusing messaging surrounding hydration, salt, & the connection drawn between electrolytes & athletes. In order to understand the importance of electrolytes for health we had Clinical Nutritionist, Erin Hall, discuss what exactly they are. As advocates for adding electrolytes into a balanced diet, and active lifestyle, we explore our low-sugar & low-carb natural electrolyte as a sugar-free alternative to the standard supermarket offering in the space. The perfect adventure accompaniment. 

By Erin Hall, Clinical Nutritionist (BHSc) 

So, what are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals found in your blood that help control and regulate the balance of fluids in the body. Our six most important electrolytes are sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphate and bicarbonate—all which help to regulate muscle contraction, blood pressure, hormone secretion, nerve function and the movements of fluids. Having the right amount of electrolytes in the body is essential for optimal health and physical performance.

The loss of electrolytes is dependent on individual factors including fitness level, exercise intensity, exercise duration, weight, humidity, fluid & food intake, medication use and certain health conditions. Essentially, the more you sweat and the less you drink, the more dehydrated you become and more likely you are to experience electrolyte loss. 

You’ll definitely know about it if you’ve lost excessive amounts of electrolytes! Some lousy symptoms you may experience include vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating, muscle cramping & spasms, headaches, nausea, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and irritability.

And the remedy? Cue hydration! Most of us have experienced some level of dehydration—some to a mild degree every day. If you’re thirsty, you are already mildly dehydrated. That why it’s important to stay on top of your water and electrolyte intake before these signs creep up.

You now know that electrolytes are important, but not all electrolytes are made equally. Yes, those blue, yellow, orange and red sport drinks are not the gold standard of health—if the bright colours didn’t give it away! A study of more than 4,100 females and 3,400 males over a 7-year period found frequently consuming sports drinks lead to increased body mass index, resulting in overweight/obesity.

Opting for sports drinks that are the high in sugar and carbohydrate comes at a risk. Drinking too many of these celebrity endorsed drinks while not performing vigorous and/or prolonged exercise can not only cause obesity but type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Lucky for us, LAND Essentials have developed a low sugar, low carbohydrate, hydrating and delicious electrolyte drink! This is the perfect beverage to enjoy on hot summer days, after your daily workout, recovering from sickness or after a tiring long-haul flight to your holiday destination. Win!

Salt – friend or foe?

Excessive sweat can cause a significant loss in electrolytes, particularly in sodium and chloride levels. But isn’t sodium bad for us? Well, yes and no. Sodium gets a bad rep due to people eating a typical Western diet. Those following this diet are consuming per average 5,500mg of sodium per day due to intakes of table salt, processed meats, cereal products, bread and savoury snacks.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends adults to consume around 2,000mg of sodium per day (roughly 1 teaspoon of salt). Sodium is vital for regulating blood, fluids, muscle contractions, glucose absorption and helping to prevent sunstroke. Therefore, sodium intake is important for our vital organs to function optimally.

LAND Essentials ‘Sea Hydrate’ is a great way to keep your electrolyte levels in balance while not piling on excessive sugar, sodium and carbohydrate—make it a sustainable everyday ritual!