How to Replace Lost Electrolytes

Electrolytes are essential elements found in the foods we eat. When you work out or get sick, you lose electrolytes faster than you replace them. Essential elements like potassium and sodium, and to a lesser degree magnesium and calcium, are needed for the body to function properly. In most cases you can replace these elements by consuming the right foods and drinks.

Instructions

  1. Add a pinch of salt to 8 oz. of water and drink it slowly. If you’re sick or you’ve worked out for more than 40 minutes, this is a quick way to get sodium to absorb into your system.
  2. Eat a banana to replace lost potassium electrolytes. Pack one and take it with you to the gym. Drink a glass of water with it to help with absorption and digestion. You can also slice up some watermelon and eat it when your energy level starts to dip. Watermelon combats dehydration and is also high in potassium.
  3. Pick up a sports drink if you want to replace lost electrolytes quickly. Look for an isotonic sports drink with a higher carbohydrate count, like PowerBar drink or Lucozade Sport for long workouts. Try a hypotonic, low-carb sports drink like AriZona Hypotonic Performance Sports Drink if you’re feeling especially dehydrated, nauseous or tired, as it absorbs even faster than an isotonic drink. If you’re working out for more than a couple of hours or exercising in excessive heat, choose a hypertonic sports drink (contains more carbohydrates than the others) like Ultra or Original Lucozade.
  4. Save money and make your own sports drink to replace lost electrolytes. Add 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tbsp. sugar and mix with 1 liter of water. Don’t skip any of the ingredients–the orange juice may seem like too much sugar but it actually replaces lost potassium.
  5. Hit your local sporting goods store and pick up a sports gel or an electrolyte strip that dissolves under your tongue. Gatorade, Enlyten and Innozen are examples of popular brands. Check the ingredients to make sure you’re getting plenty of potassium and a small does of sodium.
  6. Find natural coconut water at a health foods store and drink it. Coconut water is refreshing, hydrating and it provides you with a hearty dose of potassium.
  7. Replace magnesium by eating broccoli, tofu, halibut or spinach. Get a quick calcium boost by eating a cup of yogurt, 2 oz. of low-fat cheese or a glass of milk.

Tips & Warnings

If you experience extreme symptoms of electrolyte imbalance such as confusion or a prolonged irregular heartbeat, see your doctor immediately.

Tips on Clearing a Stuffed Nose

Changes in the season, colds and allergies often bring on distressing symptoms such as a stuffed nose. Clearing up a stuffy nose is simple with a few home remedies or over-the-counter medications. Avoid mixing too many methods at once especially if you haven’t previously tried natural remedies. Some herbs may interact with medications so focus on using either herbs or pharmaceuticals rather than mixing treatments at the same time.

Saline Nasal Sprays

Use saline nasal sprays to clear up a stuffed nose. These types of sprays are found at your local pharmacy or online. The Family Doctor website says to gently blow your nose before using the medication and try not to sneeze or blow your nose immediately after using the spay. Sneezing or blowing your nose can counteract the effects of the spray because the saline solution needs to remain inside your nasal cavity to help break up congestion.

Drink Green Tea

Choose caffeine-free green tea.

Drink green tea to boost your immune system and help clear up sinuses when suffering from a cold or allergies. Green tea helps clear up a stuffy nose because it contains antioxidants that stimulate the immune system. This helps to relieve all the symptoms associated with a cold such as runny nose, fever and sore throat. Green tea contains anti-inflammatory nutrients such as Vitamin C and L-theanine.

Increased Humidity

You can clear up a stuffy nose by increasing the humidity levels in your home with a vaporizer or humidifier. You can find these at your local home improvement or department store. Turn your humidifier on at night before bed so that you can breathe easier while you sleep. You can also spend 10 minutes, two or more times per day inside a sauna or hot shower to help clear up a stuffed nose. The hot steam helps clear up a stuffed nose by increasing moisture and humidity in the air.

Neti Pots

Neti pots often are used in Ayurvedic medicine. The pot resembles a small tea kettle, but is used to clean and clear out the sinuses. Saline is added to lukewarm water in the pot, and the user then pours the liquid into his nose through the spout of the pot.