Do We Need Electrolytes in Our Water?

Electrolytes are crucial for maintaining a healthy body, but the science behind adding them to water is worth being explored further.

Do we really need electrolytes in our drinking water? With the growing popularity of specialty water brands, this question continues to be asked more and more frequently.
Electrolytes are crucial for maintaining a healthy body, but the science behind adding them to water is worth being explored further.

What are electrolytes?

According to the American Chemical Society, electrolytes come in several different forms. Including sodium, chloride, potassium, phosphate, magnesium and calcium.
Essentially, electrolytes are salts. And once in the body, they dissolve and give off positive or negative charges to help conduct electricity in water.
These ions play an important role in the body, because they help control the flow of water into cells and nerve impulses. Which ultimately allow our muscles to contract and relax.
Electrolytes also cause our bodies' sweat to be salty. When we sweat, ion channels dump electrolytes into our sweat glands.
Through osmosis, water flows behind these electrolytes, which then increases the pressure in the gland and causing the body to release sweat. The sweat then evaporates on the skin, helping to cool our body temperature.
With this in mind, the body does lose most of its electrolytes through sweating. But replacing them is easier than you think.

Do we need electrolytes in our water?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, we don't need to drink electrolyte enhanced beverages. That is, as long as we're working out for less than an hour and consuming meals with the proper amount of electrolytes.
Therefore, electrolytes in water may not matter as much as we think. But it remains very important to properly hydrate.
Drinking enough fluids is not only crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in the body, but drinking water also improves physical performance, boosts mood, prevents headaches, and promotes weight loss.

Where else can electrolytes be found?

Here are some foods high in electrolytes:
  • Fruits and vegetables are great sources of electrolytes. Raisins, spinach, sweet potatoes, potatoes and bananas are just a few of the many that contain substantial amounts of potassium.
  • Tuna, olives, beans and pickles contain higher amounts of sodium, another common electrolyte. But be careful not to overdo it on the sodium. Too much sodium can have negative health consequences.
  • Tomatoes, lettuce, celery and rye contain the electrolyte chloride, which is commonly found in whole foods.
  • Avocados, nuts, legumes, seeds, whole grains and some fatty fish contain the electrolyte magnesium.
  • Dairy products such as yogurt, milk and cheese are packed with calcium. But if dairy consumption is not an option, calcium can be found in leafy green vegetables such as kale and arugula. Some other calcium fortified foods are cereal, soy milk, juice and tofu.

How can you get affordable, clean and safe water?

Everyone has different water needs. Which is why at Culligan we want to help you pick the water you need.
Our Reverse Osmosis systems provide an excellent choice for fresh, clean water right through the tap. RO systems help eliminate contaminants other types of filtration systems miss. This provides better tasting, safer water for just pennies a glass.
Together with clean, safe drinking water and a nutritious diet, you can keep your family healthy and hydrated.