How to Balance Your Electrolytes the Ayurvedic Way

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Does the summer heat have you feeling weak-kneed and lightheaded after exertion and sweating?

It’s likely due to depleted electrolytes and dehydration.

When the weather’s hot, it’s essential to protect your health by getting enough electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and bicarbonate.

Hot weather is of particular concern because heat causes sweating, and sweating drains your body’s stores of electrolytes.

leg muscle spasm

A lack of electrolytes can cause symptoms like muscle spasms, nerve twitching, and general weakness.

Due to the heart’s reliance on electrical function, it can even cause heart rhythm disturbances and seizures.

You want to pay attention to any changes in muscle and nerve function in case an electrolyte imbalance is the cause.

There’s usually not a cause for concern, since electrolyte imbalances are often easily remedied, and regular consumption of electrolyte-rich summer drinks and foods will keep you balanced all summer long.

Read on to learn more about the role electrolytes play in the body. Get recipes for easy homemade summer drinks, foods that are rich in electrolytes, and recipes loaded with electrolytes!

What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are substances that conduct electricity when dissolved in water.

electrolytes in body fluid

Electrolytes interact with each other, and with cells in your tissues, nerves, and muscles.

Sodium and potassium are major electrolytes that are essential for heart function, but there are countless automatic processes in the body that rely on a small electric current to function optimally.

Electrolytes are critical for hydration, because electrolytes regulate fluid levels at the cellular level, enabling the regulation of blood pH, and maintenance of tissue health.

Without electrolytes, your kidneys struggle to hold onto water, so you can end up dehydrated due to loosing all your liquids through your urine.

Electrolyte deficiency symptoms

Either too much—or too little—of one or more electrolytes can cause the following signs and symptoms, according to Medical News Today.

  • irregular heartbeat
  • weakness and fatigue (associated with improper balance of electrolytes)
  • twitching and muscle spasms (associated with general electrolyte deficiency)
  • changes in blood pressure
  • excessive tiredness
  • numbness
  • dizziness and lightheadedness (associated with excess sodium)
  • nausea and vomiting (associated with low sodium or potassium)
  • headaches (associated with low magnesium)
  • bone disorders
  • nervous system disorders
  • seizures
  • convulsions

Note that since you can also have too much of an electrolyte, especially salt, it’s important to keep moderation in mind at all times.

electrolyte imbalance symptoms

Electrolyte benefits

It can be helpful to know the role that each major electrolyte plays in your body.

  • SODIUM supports fluid balance inside and outside of the cells, nerve impulses, muscle contraction (including the heart), and blood pressure.
  • POTASSIUM supports normal heart rhythm, muscle contraction, and balanced fluid levels in the cells.
  • CALCIUM promotes strong bones and teeth, but it’s also critical for muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting.
  • MAGNESIUM supports energy, relaxation, strong bones, and normal blood pressure.
  • CHLORIDE assists in fluid balance, blood PH, and stomach acids for digestion.
  • PHOSPHATE plays a key role in metabolism, as well as in the structure of nucleotides, which are the building blocks of your DNA.

Electrolytes in drinks

It’s clear that you don’t want to mess around with your electrolytes. They are seriously important to maintaining your overall balance.

At the same time, it isn’t hard to get adequate electrolytes, as long as you focus on hydrating with electrolytes from liquids and foods.

I’m going to show you exactly how to hydrate with electrolytes.

The first thing to know is that you don’t need to buy electrolyte powders, packets, or colored water, which are usually full of added sugars and chemicals.

Drinking more water alone isn’t the solution either.

Your body is likely to struggle to absorb the plain water, and that’s because you need the electrolytes to support absorption.

Fortunately, you can make your own summer drinks with electrolytes by combining water, mineral-rich fluids, unrefined sugars, mineral salts, lime juice, fruits, fruit juice, coconut water, and more. 

Read on, and I will share with you two of my favorite electrolyte-rich drinks that are tasty, homemade, and free from harmful sugars and additives.

1. Ayurvedic gatorade

My number one recommendation for you is Ayurvedic gatorade.

You will find many recipes for Ayurvedic gatorade on the Internet, but this is the one I make.

As you may know, Ayurveda is a traditional system of healthcare originating in ancient India that uses personalized food and lifestyle recommendations to restore health, and I am an Ayurvedic nutritionist.

Ayurveda is truly “food as medicine,” and Ayurvedic gatorade is a gem that I have shared with countless friends and family who found it crave-worthy and refreshing.

To make Ayurvedic gatorade, you’ll need:

  • 4 cups of filtered room-temperature water
  • 1-2 teaspoons unrefined sugar or maple syrup
  • 1-2 pinches mineral salt (such as Himalayan pink salt)
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime, freshly squeezed
unrefined sugar, lime, and mineral salt

Simply combine and stir very well to dissolve the salt and sugar crystals, then enjoy.

The sugar contains potassium, maple syrup contains potassium, calcium and magnesium, the salt has both sodium and chloride, and the lime contains potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Wow! That’s 5 electrolytes in this simple summer rehydration drink.

2. Juice ice cubes

One of my favorite (and easiest) summer drinks is to add 2-3 frozen juice cubes to a cup of room temperature water.

juice cubes

Most people have heard that room temperature or warm water is preferred over cold water for overall health.

Just 2-3 juice cubes in an entire glass makes the water a little colder, but not ice cold.

This can really hit the spot after sweating on a hot day.

The juice contains electrolytes, as well as a bit of natural sugar to cool the body and soothe the nervous system.

When selecting a juice to freeze in your ice cube trays, opt for the highest quality juice you can find, and avoid added or artificial sugars.

Electrolytes in fruit

My favorite fruit juices that are high in electrolytes are as follows.

  • Apricot juice (potassium)
  • Pomegranate juice (potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium)
  • Mango juice (potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium)
  • Cherry or tart cherry juice (potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and melatonin)
Juice ice cubes

To make juice cubes:

  • Pour juice into ice cube trays and freeze
  • Transfer to a ziplock bag for storage
  • Add 2-3 cubes to 12 ounces of room temperature water
  • Enjoy!

Electrolytes in foods

You may also consider getting your electrolytes from foods.

Most people can get enough electrolytes by consuming a diverse selection of electrolyte-rich foods and drinks.

electrolyte rich foods

Many fruits, vegetables, and fishes are a great source of electrolytes.

Below is a list of electrolyte-rich foods you can add to your summer shopping list.

  • SODIUM: dill pickles, tomatoes, salt
  • CHLORIDE: tomatoes, lettuce, seaweed, celery, olives, salt
  • POTASSIUM: potatoes with skins on, plain yogurt, bananas, avocados, beans and lentils, broccoli
  • MAGNESIUM: pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, oats, beans and lentils, spinach
  • CALCIUM: yogurt, milk, ricotta, tofu, collard greens, spinach, kale, sardines, salmon

Broths and soups

Broths and soups are especially helpful in the summer to balance electrolytes.

Even though you might not crave something warm, I guarantee it will hit the spot, especially in the evening.

green detox soup

Or you could also try a cold soup, such as gazpacho, which is loaded with electrolytes by the way!

Pick out your favorites, and make your grocery list so that you can get what you need to enjoy balanced electrolytes and good health all summer-long.

Electrolyte soups

Summer Lentil Soup with Quinoa
Made with black lentils, quinoa, celery, onion, and root vegetables, this summer lentil soup checks all the boxes for protein, nutrition, and taste.
Green Detox Soup (Bieler’s Broth)
A simple green soup made with zucchini, green beans, celery, and fresh herbs that’s designed for easy digestion and detox.
Easy Vegetable Stew with Protein
This vegetable stew made with onions, celery, carrots, and summer squash is rich in protein from your choice of paneer, beans, tofu, or chicken.
vegetable stew in a bowl
Miso Tahini Vegetable Soup
Miso and tahini bring rich depth, and mouth-watering sweet, sour, and salty tastes to the broth of this versatile vegetable soup. 
miso tahini soup

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