electrolytesA few weeks ago I had to go to the Emergency Room for severe dehydration. Surprisingly it wasn’t from too much booze (yes I love my booze, but in small quantities). I had just done too much flying, hot yoga, sunning and had neglected to sufficiently rehydrate over the course of a few days.

About five minutes into intravenous hydration, my full body convulsions and my nausea ceased.

The incident freaked me out, but I didn’t want to alter my lifestyle (including hot yoga, travel, and sun). So I did my research on hydration and here’s what I found:

Drink a lot of water in small quantities all day: If you dump cup of water on a pile of clay the top portion will get wet, but it won’t necessarily penetrate into all facets since a lot of it will just wash away.  But if you gradually pour the water in small amounts, it will seep into the clay and will likely become much more moist. Same idea with your body. If you gradually sip water throughout the day, your body will more effectively absorb it.

Drink before, during, and after workouts: Obvious, I know. But I need to remember to do this, because I do early evening yoga classes and will often grab a glass of wine instead of water once dinner is ready and Jeopardy! comes on the tube. Party! Now I leave huge water bottles filled with water in 3 areas of my home: (1) kitchen, (2) living room table, (3) work area.

You can overhydrate: Hydration is key to a healthy body, but overhydration can occur if you drink excessive amounts. Water is like anything else and you really can have to much of a good thing. Overhydration often occurs if you don’t balance out your fluid intake with sufficient electrolyte replenishment.

So what are electrolytes? Here’s a great excerpt from LiveStrong.org that explains what electrolytes are:

Electrolytes are minerals found in the fluids you drink and the foods you eat, which your body needs in order to carry out basic functions every day. Creating and repairing tissue, digestive function and the building and strengthening of bones are just some of the body processes your body relies on electrolytes for. Calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium are all examples of electrolytes. Having too little sodium in your body, for example, can lead to dizziness, weakness in the muscles, confusion and, in extreme cases, even seizures.

But me no likey sports drinks (either too sugary or too fake tasting).  So I did more research and found my new favorite supplement: Emergen-C’s Electromix. It doesn’t contain all the crap-sugar-filler-crap that regular sports drinks do. Plus it’s incredibly refreshing, especially during or after a rigorous workout. And you can get free samples online!