Minerals are nutrients that are ingested in small amounts and that serve important functions within the human body. Discover the importance of guaranteeing the hydro electrolyte balance from them.
Hydro electrolyte balance is a concept that refers to the maintenance of a correct state of hydration and supply of minerals. A defect in one of these two components can cause harmful effects on the body. Certain mineral deficiencies, such as sodium (hyponatremia), could be fatal.
For this reason, we are going to explain to you what are the most important functions of the main electrolytes in the body. We will also give you a series of recommendations to make sure you eat the amount of them you need, thus preventing imbalances.
Electrolytes are ionized minerals that have diverse functions in the human body. Many of them are related to the maintenance of osmotic balance or the transmission of the nerve impulse. Let’s see the most important ones.
Sodium is one of the most abundant minerals. Its deficit, as we discussed, causes a disorder known as hyponatremia. It is a nutrient that intervenes in the transmission of the nervous impulse, being essential for life.
In addition, it is involved in maintaining blood pressure, as shown by research. Sodium is an avid compound of water, so it binds to it, increasing the tensional values when it is consumed in excess.
Fortunately, almost all foods in the diet contain sodium. For this reason, it is not easy to suffer a deficiency of it. In fact, this situation is only likely in cases of excessive sweating, in hot and humid environments.
Endurance athletes competing in hot climates must monitor their intake of the mineral. For this, beverages designed with precision in their mineral content are used.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. It is part of the bones, increasing their density and reducing the risk of fractures. The contribution of this mineral becomes essential when the objective is to prevent bone demineralization caused by menopause, as stated by current scientific evidence.
In addition, this nutrient has functions in the transmission of the nerve impulse and in the contractility of the muscle, both cardiac and skeletal. For this reason, it is essential to guarantee adequate levels of it in the body.
Potassium is involved in the transmission of the nerve impulse, but it is also responsible for regulating blood pressure, exerting a hypotensive effect, contrary to sodium. According to a study published in the research that regular intake of the mineral is capable of reducing blood pressure, which is why it can be recommended in people with this pathology.
How to maintain the water and electrolyte balance?
To maintain the hydro-electrolyte balance, it is essential, first of all, to guarantee an adequate supply of water. You don’t have to wait until you’re thirsty to drink fluids. In fact, this physiological mechanism is activated when a significant loss has already occurred.
It is advisable to drink small amounts of fresh water every little time, avoiding the use of carbonated drinks or soft drinks to fulfill this hydration function. Regular consumption of sugars has been shown to be detrimental to health.
Guarantee the contribution of minerals
In order to improve the mineral intake, it is recommended to salt meals a little more than usual when exercising in hot conditions. Thus, the risk of hyponatremia is reduced. In the case of sedentary people, sodium intake should be adjusted to their dietary needs, limiting it in the case of high blood pressure.
The appropriate thing is to propose a varied and balanced menu, especially rich in vegetables. Fruits and vegetables stand out for their micronutrient content. For this reason, they suppose a remarkable mineral contribution that avoids deficiencies that condition health.
Finally, it is necessary to guarantee a daily intake of calcium to prevent problems related to bone density. With this objective, the consumption of dairy products, nuts or oily fish can be increased. Canned sardines are, for example, one of the most recommended foods to prevent osteoporosis in women.
Maintain the hydro electrolyte balance to guarantee your health
As you have seen, maintaining an adequate electrolyte balance is essential when the objective is to improve health or prevent drops in performance during a sports event.
Fortunately, it is very easy to get the contribution of minerals that the body needs, following these tips that we have proposed. If you consume vegetables on a regular basis, along with dairy products and oily fish, it will not be easy for you to present a deficit of these micronutrients.
In any case, if you suffer from any pathology, we recommend that you consult a professional. Remember that hypertensive people, for example, cannot overdo it with salts.