Hot Weather Mineral Intake

Hot Weather Mineral Intake

 

 

 

Children are back in school.  Summers over. Yes, the children are back in school and fall sports have begun.  But we are now in the hottest part of summer.  Here in Central Texas, we just started with the three-digit temperatures.  All those people who work outside or participate in athletic activity need to pay attention to their hydration.  Your pets and outdoor animals need to be kept hydrated, too.

Our bodies work hard to maintain the status quo, known as homeostasis. During hot weather or exercise our body temperatures tend to rise.  We sweat to cool our bodies and maintain a normal healthy temperature.  When sweating we lose water and minerals.  Both water and minerals are vital to keeping us healthy and alive.

Water carries out many important roles in our bodies.

  • Protections our spinal cord, brain, and other organs.
  • Lubricates and cushions our joints
  • Helps our body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation.
  • Aids in the digestion of food and absorption important nutrients.
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Transport chemicals throughout the body.
  • Helps with repairing damaged cell and making hormones and enzymes.

Every day, an average adult loses more than 10 cups of water simply by sweating, breathing and eliminating waste, according to the Mayo Clinic. During the hot summer months, this amount can easily increase. If a person does not compensate by replenishing his/her water supply, a potentially life-threatening condition can occur – dehydration. While mild dehydration can be easily treated and prevented, severe dehydration can be much more complicated.

Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough water and electrolytes to carry out its normal functions and maintain a balance of fluids, says Beth Ann Callihan Ricci, D.O., an osteopathic family practice physician from Erie, Pennsylvania. Without enough water, the body literally dries out.

You can determine if you are drinking enough water using the following:

  • Urinary frequency – most people urinate between 4-7 times per day, depending on bladder size and amount of urine for release. If you urinate less than four times or not at all, then you need to drink more water.
  • The more water you have in your body for your kidneys to mix with waste products, the lighter in color your urine will be. You should be drinking enough water for your urine to be a light yellow color. Darker colors can mean that the kidneys are being forced to work too hard.
  •  Urine should be nearly odorless. The scent of the urine will be dependent on a few factors including hydration status, foods eaten in the past 24 hours and whether or not an infection is present. The more concentrated the urine is, the stronger your urine will smell of ammonia.

 

Replacing lost electrolytes is just as important as drinking water.  The term “electrolytes” is really just a fancy name for minerals that help the body perform its natural functions; they include sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, calcium, and other trace minerals. These minerals, which dissolve in the fluids in our body and break into electrically charged ions, keep the body in balance.

It’s true: electrolytes matter. They regulate muscle and nerve function, hydration, blood pressure, and your body’s pH levels. Deficiencies or imbalances in electrolytes—which include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, hydrogen phosphate, bicarbonate, and chloride—can cause everything from fatigue and muscle cramping to irregular heartbeat and seizures. When we sweat, we lose electrolytes; so it’s important to replace them.

It is advisable to be wary of Gatorade, sports drinks, energy drinks, bottled waters, and fitness waters.  Check the labels carefully.  Many have sugar, caffeine, salts and other chemicals that are not good for the body or the concentration may not be what you need.

Natural sources of electrolytes are salt, coconut water, lemons, and green vegetables.  All salt is comparable. But some salts may contain substances that are not beneficial.

One doesn’t seem to be much better than the other.

                              Sodium  Potassium    Magnesium    Iron

Table Salt             39.1%       0.09%        <0.01%           <0.01%

Sea Salt                38.3%       0.08%          0.05%           <0.01%

Himalayan Salt    36.8%       0.28%          0.1%               0.0004%

Celtic Sea Salt     33.8%       0.16%          0.3%               0.014%

I personally prefer Redman salt or Himalayan salt. I like these salts because they were formed millions of years before we polluted our earth, air, and seas.  Seas salts harvested from the ocean waters today may contain the pollutants and contaminants that were dissolved in the water.   Redman salt is harvested in Redman, Utah. The Himalayan salt is harvested in Pakistan.

So drink up. But don’t go overboard.  Too much water and too much salt can also cause problems.  My grandfather, a professor at the University of Rochester Medical School, used to tell me to do things in moderation.

References:

www. https://lecomhealth.com/the-dangers-of-dehydration/

www.runnersworld.com/women/a20802836/how-to-test-your-hydration/

www.proholisticchiropractic.com/blog/entry/dehydration/

www.naturalcalm.ca/5-natural-electrolyte-boosters/

www.invictusboston.com/coaches-corner

https://www.verywellfit.com/what-kind-of-salt-is-healthiest-4157937

https://www.verywellfit.com/sea-salt-is-no-better-for-you-than-regular-salt-2506572

https://www.verywellfit.com/watching-your-sodium-intake-2505914

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayan_salt

www.redman salt mines

www.webmd.com/diet/features/5-hydration-dos-and-donts#1