With everyone packing around water bottles and constantly guzzling water, you would think that hydration and electrolytes imbalance would be the least of our worries. However, did you know that our water is becoming so filtered that it is actually being depleted of essential minerals? That’s why when brands such as Smartwater and Fiji advertise themselves as “remineralized”, they are not doing this just to jack up the price tag or appear fancy but adding magnesium and potassium and other electrolytes is essential so that their water actually hydrates you.
Going beyond mineralized water, companies are using this hydration “trend” to capitalize off of the electrolyte empire Gatorade started in the sixties. But replenishing your electrolytes is more than just some fad with tasty beverages. Electrolyte imbalances can cause severe consequences to your health if not taken seriously. Luckily, they can easily be identified, just by noticing simple symptoms of dehydration, brain fog, and muscle weakness, or through routine blood tests. (Holland, 2018)
I am especially prone to electrolyte imbalance because of my diabetes insipidus, a condition where the pituitary gland does not secrete an adequate amount of ADH (antidiuretic hormone), causing excessive thirst and urination. Basically, it means that I am constantly drinking, and peeing, and my kidneys are working in overdrive.
For years I have tried to find products to satisfy my thirst. Most of the time I feel like I cannot get enough water, and just drink and drink and drink.
Then, I was diagnosed with a severe electrolyte imbalance. My potassium levels were very low, meaning I was hypokalemic. I was having such severe muscle pain in my legs that one day I could hardly get out of bed. Walking was becoming an arduous task.
I was not about to start on any of the “ades” as I call them. You know…Gatorade, Powerade, etc. Those things are full of sugar and artificial dyes and who knows what else. I try to avoid these things as much as possible. Sugar is terrible for inflammation, tumor growth, and much more, so the idea of drinking a sugar-filled beverage every day, maybe multiple times a day, while appealing to my taste buds, was not appealing to my pain levels.
Thus, began my journey to finding a low-sugar alternative that was both effective and tasty to bring my electrolytes into balance and leave me feeling hydrated all day!
Here are my TOP THREE FAVORITE PRODUCTS for balancing my electrolytes.
Okay, this entire post could be about Laird Superfood Hydrate because I honestly think it is the best thing since sliced bread. I love that it has only two ingredients: Freeze dried coconut water and Aquamin, which is “a mineral rich, calcified sea alga”. There are no added sugars. I can drink this any time of day without having to worry about it keeping me up at night like an energy drink might. It also has greatly helped my diabetes insipidus, and I feel hydrated for longer, and I don’t crave sugar or more water immediately after drinking it, like some of the sugarier electrolyte beverages caused. I enjoy the taste, it is quite mild and tastes very similar to coconut water, which I find refreshing. I have even added it to half water half coconut water, which adds a bit more flavor and sweetness. However, if you do not like coconut water, you may not enjoy the flavor of this. Finally, I appreciate that it is a mix, so it does not come in a prepackaged plastic bottle, which makes it more environmentally friendly.
Overall, Laird Superfood Hydrate is by far my favorite of the three products.
While not quite as long lasting in its hydration as Laird Superfood Hydrate, Nutribiotic Electro-C still leaves me feeling replenished. I especially enjoy the high content of vitamin C that it contains. It also has more flavor than the other two products. I got the lemon flavor, which is subtle, but refreshing. My favorite time to take this is in the morning mixed with part water and part coconut water. Like Laird Superfood Hydrate, I like that you mix it on your own.
While I did not find this as long lasting or satisfying in hydration as the other two, I love Cell Food because it can be added to anything with essentially no flavor. In plain water, it tastes a bit like adding lemon, but when added to tea, either hot or iced, I did not taste it at all. It also is easy to take on the go. You can throw it in your bag and then when needed, add some drops to whatever you are drinking, whether it be your water bottle while on a hike, your iced tea at a restaurant, etc.
BONUS: NUUN HYDRATION
Although these little gems did not make my top three, I think they are a very viable option for someone looking to replace sports drinks to replenish their electrolytes.
Things I like is that they come in a wide assortment of flavors. There are also ones that contain caffeine so if you are looking for something to give you energy, then these would be for you. I like that they are easy to travel with as they are little effervescent tablets that come in a tube, so you don’t have to worry about powder or liquid exploding everywhere on your travels.
Personally, I am not a big fan of anything effervescent so that is one reason that these are a turn off for me. The second is that they do not seem to satisfy my thirst as much as my top three products listed.
Other than that, they are delicious and there are so many to choose from that you’re bound to find at least one flavor that you enjoy!
Holland, K. (2018). Electrolyte Disorders: Types, Symptoms, and Causes. [online]
Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/electrolyte-disorders#treatment [Accessed 12 Aug. 2018].
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