Electrolytes and Summer – A Fine Balance
Water is very vital for the body, especially during the hot summer months. It keeps the body from getting overheated. The primary way the body gets rid of heat is via sweat. As the perspiration evaporates, the body cools off. However, too much sweating decreases the water level in the body; a loss of fluids, along with a loss of electrolytes adversely affects the body.
Dehydration is an extreme loss of water and is accompanied by an imbalance in the electrolytes – i.e. sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and other essential minerals. Sustaining a delicate balance between water and electrolytes is a complex process and the kidneys are a part of the feedback mechanism - they conserve or eliminate water by concentrating or diluting the urine and by controlling the amount of sodium.
Understanding the significance of electrolytes
Fluids and electrolytes are very crucial for the normal working of the cells, organs and various body systems. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals which are responsible for a host of key functions in the body. Their levels need to stay within the right range, or grave disorders can occur. The critical role played by electrolytes is:
- Regulating the fluid levels in the body.
- Ensuring that the pH of the blood stays within the normal range (7.35-7.45, slightly alkaline).
- Supporting muscular contractions everywhere in the body, even the muscle contractions of the heart.
- Transmission of nerve signals
- Clotting of blood
- Building of new tissue
Losing a lot of fluids due to excessive sweating and not drinking adequate amounts of water, more so during the sweltering heat upsets the subtle electrolyte water balance.
3 fun and creative summer drinks!
The perfect way to battle dehydration is to drink before you get thirsty. Here are some super innovative ways to step up your hydration game and get all your electrolytes too!
1. Pineapple cooler: Nothing can put you in the cool summer mood quicker than sipping on a bright yellow colored, fruity drink. This fabulous tropical-flavoured slushy, made with pineapple chunks, zingy lemonade, and sweet coconut water is simply ideal. Pineapple is loaded with water, its sweet and chockfull of vitamins, while coconut water gives you all the necessary electrolytes. Don't miss the cherry on the top!
2. Citrus punch: Switch from the fizzy, sugar-packed cola to this fantastic citrusy drink. Limes and oranges – the most refreshing summer flavours! Add a smidge of rock salt or pink salt to the drink to amp up its nutritive quotient. Tata Salt offers you a whole range of salts to choose from – Tata Iodised Salt, Tata Salt Lite, Tata Rock Salt and Tata Black salt. This tart, invigorating drink has great potential to become your summer party go-to!
3. Mango slush: Nothing screams summer like mango juice on a bed of ice cubes! This yummy and nutritious slushy is bound to keep you happy and it’s the perfect treat for a hot summer day! Packed with generous amounts of vitamin C and oodles of powerful antioxidants, the mango most definitely needs to be a part of your summer diet.
The right amount of hydration and the correct levels of salt and electrolytes will keep your summer activities safe and much more enjoyable. To ensure that you get sufficient quantities of fluids daily, keep an extra jug of water in the refrigerator; you could also throw in some sliced fresh lemons, a diced cucumber or a sprig of fresh mint for a hint of flavour.
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