How To Maintain Electrolyte Balance for Energy & Hydration

How To Maintain Electrolyte Balance for Energy & Hydration

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​​Is it easier to maintain your balance in yoga class or balance your electrolytes?

Though both require a bit of practice to banish the wobbles, it’s worth the effort.

Achieving these feats of physical harmony will leave you buzzing with higher energy levels, better moods, and improved overall health.

While we’re no namaste gurus, we can share everything you need to know about electrolyte balance.

We’ll demystify the magic of these minerals, highlight the benefits of keeping them all in check, and follow up with the best do’s and don’ts for your wellness routine. 

Let’s kick it off with the basics:

What are Electrolytes & How Do They Work?

Electrolytes are essential minerals that carry an electrical charge in your body.[*] These powered-up ions send signals between your cells and nerves to spur or maintain vital processes like muscle contraction, blood pressure, acid/base (pH) balance, and more.

The most important electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonates.

Let’s run through how each major electrolyte works:

Sodium

Sodium conducts nerve impulses, contracts and relaxes muscles, and regulates blood pressure.[*][*] You also need it to maintain extracellular fluid balance (i.e., fluids outside your cells) to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration.[*][*]

Potassium

Potassium helps regulate muscle and heart contractions, blood pressure, nerve impulses, and fluid balance.[*][*][*] It also supports your digestion and metabolism and enables your body to absorb calcium (another electrolyte).[*][*][*]

Magnesium

Magnesium plays a part in over 300 bodily processes, including:[*][*][*][*]

  • Energy metabolism
  • Muscle growth and function
  • Blood pressure and blood sugar regulation
  • Nerve signaling and neurological functions
  • Releasing neurotransmitters that affect your mood and mental health

Calcium

Calcium has a hand in muscle contraction, blood clotting, hormone secretion, transmitting nervous system messages, and several other critical functions.[*]

Chloride

Chloride is the second most common electrolyte in your blood after sodium. It supports the regulation of body fluids, pH balance, and blood pressure.[*] Chloride also stimulates digestion and helps oxygen and carbon dioxide flow within cells.[*]

What are the Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance?

High or low electrolyte levels disrupt normal bodily functions and can lead to life-threatening complications.[*] If you’re tired, sluggish, or irritable, it may be a sign that your electrolytes are out of balance.

  • Low sodium levels (hyponatremia) can lead to headaches, nausea, muscle cramps, swelling, and fatigue.[*] High sodium levels (hypernatremia) can cause rapid breathing, trouble sleeping, and restlessness.[*]
  • Potassium is one of the most common electrolyte imbalances.[*] Signs of low potassium levels (hypokalemia) include heart palpitations, lightheadedness, and muscle weakness, cramping, and twitching.[*][*] High potassium levels (hyperkalemia) are usually due to a medical condition. It can result in arrhythmias (i.e., irregular or abnormal heart rhythms).[*][*]
  • Symptoms of low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia) include fatigue, nausea, muscle cramps and twitches, irregular heartbeat, and pins and needles.[*][*] High magnesium levels (hypermagnesemia) may result in muscle weakness and trouble breathing.[*]
  • Low calcium levels (hypocalcemia) lead to muscle cramps (especially in your back and legs), dry skin, brittle nails, irritability, and depression.[*] High calcium levels (hypercalcemia) may cause kidney stones, increased thirst, frequent urination, and bone pain.[*]
  • Because chloride is usually bound to sodium (table salt is sodium chloride, after all), imbalances are uncommon. They often manifest as dehydration, fatigue, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, and trouble breathing.[*] Blood tests revealing low chloride levels (hypochloremia) or high chloride levels (hyperchloremia) often indicate a serious medical condition at the root cause.[*]

Why Is It Important To Balance Electrolytes?

Besides avoiding the bad vibes that electrolyte imbalances create, the benefits of keeping your electrolytes in perfect harmony include:

  • Higher energy levels. Electrolytes help convert food into energy, so you’re well-fueled to tackle your tasks, workouts, and hobbies.
  • Better moods and mental performance. Electrolytes influence the way your noggin thinks and releases feel-good neurotransmitters. They can help banish brain fog, depression, irritability, and lethargy.[*][*]
  • Improved physical performance. Optimal electrolyte balance boosts muscle function and prevents cramps or fatigue from sabotaging your workouts.
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Electrolyte Balance

    Several factors can throw off your electrolyte balance to make you feel crummy out of nowhere. So how do you balance all those minerals without going crazy?

    1. Do Consider Your Age, Medical Conditions, & Medications 

    Blood tests may reveal electrolyte imbalances as a side effect of these medical conditions or treatment plans:[*]

    • Cancer
    • Cardiovascular disease, heart failure, or high blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Specific electrolyte disorders
    • Endocrine gland disorders
    • Gastrointestinal conditions
    • Chronic kidney disease or kidney failure
    • Liver diseases like cirrhosis
    • Respiratory acidosis or respiratory alkalosis
    • Vitamin deficiencies

    Similarly, taking medications like antibiotics, diuretics, laxatives, and steroids often results in electrolyte imbalances.[*]

    Then there’s your age. Seniors experience a natural decline in body fluid, kidney function, and thirst response. These increase the risk of dehydration and unbalanced electrolytes.[*][*][*][*]

    If you’re in any of these boats, speak with your healthcare provider to create a customized game plan to stay on top of your electrolytes.

    2. Don’t Rely On Sugary Sports Drinks

    Sports recovery drinks are loaded with sugar and artificial colors, which harm your health.[*][*] Since science shows you don’t need glucose to facilitate hydration or electrolyte absorption, it’s time you ditch them for good.[*][*][*]

    Unlike ultra-sweet sports drinks, IQMIX is sugar-free, vegan, and keto-friendly. Each packet contains just 1 gram of carbohydrates and 10-15 calories. You’ll score key minerals for proper hydration and electrolyte balance, including:

    • 500 mg of sodium
    • 380 mg of potassium 
    • 750 mg of Magtein®, a clinically studied form of magnesium (magnesium L-threonate) that supports cognition and mood

    Each packet also contains 250 mg of super-concentrated lion’s mane mushroom — an adaptogen that supports brain health, lower stress levels, and higher mental performance.[*

    🌟 Try the IQMIX 8-Stick Sampler to taste how Peach Mango, Blood Orange, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Lemon Lime beat those “blue flavor” sports drinks.

    3. Do Up Your Electrolyte Game on a Keto or Low-Carb Diet

    Keto and low-carb diets deliver powerful health benefits for your energy levels, body weight goals, and mental health.[*][*][*][*] But slashing carbs or practicing intermittent fasting may naturally lower your levels of electrolytes.

    When you restrict net carbs:

  • You must cut out certain electrolyte-rich foods, such as bananas, potatoes, beans, whole grains, fruits, and bread.  
  • Your insulin levels take a steep decline. This creates a diuretic effect that increases urination and pushes electrolytes out of your body en masse.[*]
  • So on top of going through the keto flu, you may also suffer from electrolyte deficiencies on your journey to ketosis, making you feel even worse.

    Fasting? If you’re downing plain water alone, you’re likely flushing out more electrolytes than you’re taking in. A sugar-free electrolyte supplement like IQMIX is super low-calorie and delivers the electrolytes your body and brain need during your fasting window.

    🏝️ Make any fast feel like a day in paradise with the IQMIX Tropical Pack! Our limited edition Piña Colada and Passion Fruit flavors will sail you through the roughest seas of food temptation.

    4. Do Prioritize Electrolyte-Rich Foods In Your Diet

    Most people don’t get enough sodium, potassium, and magnesium from their diets.[*][*][*][*] That stops today. Experts recommend you aim for a daily goal of:

  • 3,000 to 5,000 mg of sodium.[*][*] Whole foods naturally contain lower levels of sodium, so always add salt to your food to taste. Add more bone broth, salted nuts, pickles, olives, celery, spinach, kale, and watercress to your diet too.
  • 3,500 to 4,700 mg of potassium.[*][*] Go for green leafy veggies, avocados, nuts, pumpkin seeds, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, fish, beef, and pork.
  • 400 to 600 mg of magnesium.[*][*] Dark chocolate, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocado, fish, and dairy are excellent low-carb sources.
  • 1,000 mg of calcium.[*] Dairy products (like yogurt and cheese), cruciferous veggies, seeds, and sardines can help you meet your goals.

  • 5. Don’t Overhydrate With Plain H2O

    Health and wellness influencers constantly tout the benefits of drinking gallons of water. But overhydration occurs when there’s way too much water in your cells and not enough electrolytes. This excess water dilutes electrolyte concentrations, so they’re basically invisible.

    That’s why proper hydration is about more than just water — it’s science.[*]

    Drink to thirst with a hydration multiplier like IQMIX, and you’ll soak up the perfect amount of water and ace your electrolyte goals simultaneously.

    Conquer Your Electrolyte Balance ⚡

    Electrolytes power everything you do. Balancing them is the secret to feeling more alert and focused and performing at your highest level. 

    So if you’re ever off your game, reach for a quick boost with IQMIX. Just mix a packet into water for an instant, uplifting, sugar-free electrolyte drink that raises the bar on your hydration, clarity, and mood — and won’t make you crash later. 

    Let’s find your favorite flavor!

     

    Written by Lauren Ciccarelli, a writer and research geek passionate about low-carb nutrition, mental health, and meditation. Her 2,500+ articles empower doers with science-backed tips for leveled-up living.