When Water Isn’t Enough

We have discussed in detail the benefits of drinking water and how many glasses we should drink daily, but I would like to discuss the other side of hydration: electrolyte intake.

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Drinking seven to eight glasses of water a day is the most effective when you have a healthy ingestion of sodium and potassium. I personally prefer using an unrefined salt like sea salt since it contains small amounts of potassium, magnesium and calcium in addition to sodium, and I find that I use less of it than I do refined table salt. The electrolytes (mostly sodium and potassium) found in salt are vital for adequate homeostasis combined with adequate water intake. How does this work? Sixty percent of the body mass is water, which is distributed both inside and outside of our cells. A proper level of different electrolytes in and out of cells is the primary way in which this fluid balance is maintained. While a diet full of salt-laden processed foods will provide a massive excess of sodium, a home cooked diet with sea salt to taste will be effective in providing more than enough flavor as well as all of the proper electrolytes to balance out your water intake.

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is Chief Resident of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health with healthy living. Dr. Kamal has a special interest in outpatient adult psychiatry.