Sunday, June 14, 2009
When it gets hot outside and/or you have been exercising a lot or you just tend toward low blood pressure like I do (which can make you dizzy, especially when standing up suddenly) sometimes extra electrolytes, which can be lost during sweating, can help. One option is to drink a sports drink like gatorade or powerade, but those are full of sugar and calories that, unless you are doing serious cardio training, you probably don't need.
From my favorite resource, Wikipedia:
Both muscle tissue and neurons are considered electric tissues of the body. Muscles and neurons are activated by electrolyte activity between the extracellular fluid or interstitial fluid, and intracellular fluid. Electrolytes may enter or leave the cell membrane through specialized protein structures embedded in the plasma membrane called ion channels. For example, muscle contraction is dependent upon the presence of calcium (Ca2+), sodium (Na+), and potassium (K+). Without sufficient levels of these key electrolytes, muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions may occur.
My favorite way to get electrolytes, plus vitamin C (an excellent antioxidant) is by using EmergenC. One day before a hot yoga class I threw a couple packets of EmergenC into my ice water and it was quite delicious-- it also helped prevent the dizzy spells I am prone to during 100+ degree bikram yoga. Thus my recipe for "Electrolade" was born:
2 packets of "lite" EmergenC (contains less sugar than the regular variety-- if you prefer the regular stuff that's fine, but I've never tried this with another kind)
2-3 drops of Stevia extract
16 oz water
4-5 ice cubes
Mix the EmergenC, stevia and water, then add the ice. It only tastes good if it is really cold-- if you started with cold water it would probably be even better!