Revisiting Hydration: Boosting Electrolytes, the Natural Way

Revisiting Hydration: Boosting Electrolytes, the Natural Way

When it comes to maintaining whole body health, we like a 3 pronged approach: Nutrition, Supplementation, and Hydration. 

Water plays a role equally important to food, especially as it relates to our circulatory system where a fluid called lymph carries immune cells throughout the body.  But kids (and adults alike) can find water boring, instead clamoring for juices and sports drinks, many of which offer too much sugar without enough extra nutritional benefit.  

For example, Gatorade, originally developed for collegiate athletes, has become an often relied upon kids drink not just for post practice but daily consumption.  While research has shown that the addition of electrolytes allows Gatorade to offer a benefit that water cannot it is indicated for “serious athletes competing or exercising for longer than an hour at a time,” in other words, a grade school soccer player would be just fine with water to replenish their fluid loss.  Additionally, both in regular and “low calorie” variations of Gatorade, many artificial food dyes are used to color the product, with potential links to hyperactivity and even cancer.  And the latter relies on sugar substitutes whose long term effects are still being researched.

If your kids push for a more flavorful beverage, you could make your own electrolyte drink, or simply add a Vitaminis to a bottle of water.  It’s a great way to stretch the 2.5 ounces of nutrient dense liquid, and offers Magnesium, an essential electrolyte, which Gatorade lacks!

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