Sometimes after a strenuous workout or a really hot yoga class, I feel exceptionally groggy the next day. After trial and error of trying to figure out why I’m not left feeling amazing and energized, I learned that its because I failed to properly hydrate and replenish my electrolytes.
As a paleo lifestyler, its pretty normal to tune out what commercials and food labels tell us we “need”. Products such as gatorade and other sports drinks constantly tell us we need to replenish our electrolytes, and that part is actually true! We just don’t need all the added sugars, syrups, coloring, natural flavors, and whatever else they put in there.
You’re body relies on a balance of electrolytes for proper functioning of your many systems, including muscles, brain, heart, cells, and kidneys.
You can lose electrolytes from workouts that make you sweat, excessive alcohol consumption, vomiting, diarrhea, starvation, and diaphoresis (excessive sweating). Sometimes, water isn’t quite enough to help you replenish them. There are a million ways to replenish electrolytes, both with food AND drinks. Here are a few food suggestions for the following electrolytes:
Sodium: it’s what we lose in the highest concentration when we sweat. (Check out this article on why salt isn’t bad!) Have some salted almond butter, or put an extra sprinkle of sea or himalayan salt on your after workout meal.
Chloride: helps maintain balance in bodily fluids. Food high in chloride includes seaweed, tomatoes, celery, olives, and lettuce.
Potassium: its important to replenish potassium because it helps maintain heart function, can prevent bone loss and kidney stones, and maintains muscle function and movement. Foods rich in potassium include dark leafy greens, avocados, bananas, winter squash, salmon, and raisins.
Calcium: You can replenish calcium buy eating dark leafy greens and sardines, or add some chia seeds to a smoothie.
Magnesium: helps fight fatigue, and replenishing magnesium in your body can give you more energy during workouts. You can absorb magnesium by eating dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, avocados, dark chocolate, and fish. Its excellent to absorb it through the skin by taking baths with Epsom salt. (Stay tuned for my favorite detox bath recipe that I’ll be posting soon).
One of the most hydrating drinks, and best ways to replenish electrolytes, is coconut water! But, if you’re like me and can’t stand the taste, you can blend it up with a handful of frozen berries or pineapple, or add a couple tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. I also like to blend it with 1/2 of a green apple and some lime juice.
Here is a smoothie recipe chock full of electrolyte replenishing foods that will mask the taste of coconut water, and you’ll still reap the benefits.
Banana Avocado Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 small avocado or 1/2 large one
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- about 2 cups coconut water (+/- depending on desired thickness)
Blend all together and enjoy.