This week’s article comes to you from the GrassRoots Nutritionist, Lili Hanft!

Did you know drinking plain water is not the most effective way to hydrate? In order for fluids to actually hydrate our cells, they need to be absorbed with the help of electrolyte minerals. These minerals help water to be absorbed through the epithelial cells of the small intestine. 

It’s especially important to replenish electrolyte minerals during the summer, since they are lost when we sweat. 

Here are a few of the most important electrolyte minerals and how to get plenty of them (without sugary sports drinks)! 

Sodium

Sodium hydrates the body by attracting water into the bloodstream. It also replenishes water loss due to sweating, helps transport nutrients, supports the absorption of glucose, amino acids,and vitamins, and aids in stomach acid production. 

Good food sources of sodium are unrefined sea salt and other mineral-rich salts, seaweed and seafood, celery, beets, and cantaloupe. 

Potassium

Potassium is found in coconut water, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, beet greens, and Swiss chard. It’s important for activating enzymes needed for energy metabolism and repair, sending signals to muscle cells, and burning glucose for energy. 

Magnesium

What doesn’t magnesium do? It’s necessary for making proteins, stabilizing the ATP molecule (the energy currency of the body), muscle relaxation, preventing muscle cramps and spasms, and promoting sleep. 

Magnesium is in foods including buckwheat, rice and oat bran, pumpkin, hemp, sesame, and chia seeds, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, Swiss chard, and cocoa. 

How to Replenish Electrolytes Without Sugary Sports Drinks

Sometimes it’s hard to get enough minerals from food, or your needs may be higher due to exercise, infrared sauna therapy, or the summer heat. Some people also just don’t enjoy plain water very much. That’s where an electrolyte drink can come in handy. 

These drinks provide an added boost of electrolyte minerals and add flavor to your water.

However, most electrolyte drinks (also known as sports drinks) are loaded with sugar and artificial dyes. One serving of Gatorade, for example, contains a whopping 29 grams of sugar!

That’s why the GrassRoots team was really excited to discover LMNT electrolyte drink packets!

LMNT Recharge Electrolyte Drink Mix contains sodium, potassium, and magnesium without any sugar, artificial sweeteners, or dyes. It’s sweetened with all-natural stevia and comes in three refreshing flavors: raspberry, orange, and citrus.

Just add a packet to your bottle of water (preferably filtered water in a glass or stainless steel bottle) and drink up! The single serve packets are perfect for taking on a hike or to the gym or just storing in your bag.

It’s a great way to add flavor, sweetness, and minerals to your water to stay hydrated for your outdoor adventures this summer!

About the Author: Lili Hanft is a certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. She is passionate about the power of real food to support the body’s innate ability to heal, and she believes that nourishing ourselves with nutrient-dense foods can be a profound source of joy and empowerment. 

When working with patients at GrassRoots, Lili emphasizes education on the “whys” behind nutritional recommendations, as well as support with the practical steps of dietary change. 

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