What are electrolytes? Electrolytes are minerals that dissolve into particles that can carry an electrical charge in your body.
Electrolytes are responsible for your heart working properly, muscle contractions, they stimulate nerve impulses and they influence the movement of fluids in and out of your cells. Another super important thing they do is regulate the acid-base balance in your body.
Important electrolytes that a lot of people are familiar with are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphate. But did you know that baking soda consists of two electrolytes?
Baking soda consists of sodium which plays a vital role in the body. The other component of baking soda is bicarbonate which helps neutralize acids in your body. It does contain a lot of sodium though so if you have a condition that makes it necessary to limit sodium talk to your doctor before using baking soda as an electrolyte.
A Closer Look At Baking Soda
Sodium plays a role in muscle contraction and nerve impulses but it’s main function is to control the amounts of fluid in your body including blood volume. When you consume too much sodium your kidneys hold onto fluids rather than eliminating them through urine. This increases blood volume which raise blood pressure. Too much sodium is not ideal but if your sodium level is too low it can cause problems too. Low blood sodium can cause weakness, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps or spasms, confusion and irritability. If you lose too much sodium too quickly it can cause loss of consciousness, seizures and coma.
Bicarbonate buffers acids in your body to keep your body from being too acidic. Your body strives to maintain a slightly alkaline PH but bad diet and stress can cause the PH level to become acidic and disease thrives in an acidic environment. Because bicarbonate is able to buffer acid it also aids in muscle performance by neutralizing the acids that build up during prolonged activity.
Make Your Own Electrolyte Drink
Mix ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp baking soda and 2 tbsp agave nectar or raw honey or pure maple syrup into a litre of water. Drink as needed.
Just remember that just because some is good it doesn’t mean that more is better. Too much sodium can cause an increase in blood pressure so if you’re pregnant or have high blood pressure make sure you talk to your doctor first.