5 Ways to Get Electrolytes (Without Sports Drinks)

Kayla Newnam
5 Ways to Get Electrolytes (Without Sports Drinks)

It’s no secret that when we have a hard workout or strenuous activity, we are left drenched in sweat and have a desire to quench our thirst. As health optimizers, you probably already rehydrate with water. But what about everything you are sweating out that isn’t just water? We need to know how to get electrolytes back into our bodies. The first thought that comes to mind for many is a sports drink, but we can actually get electrolytes back into our bodies without them. Let’s talk about what electrolytes are and how you can get electrolytes with our 5 recommendations.  When you learn the 5 ways of how to get electrolytes without sports drinks you'll start making sure you are replenishing after your workouts and activities without sports drinks. 

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are needed for our bodies to function properly. Some of the symptoms of electrolyte imbalances are confusion, twitching, fatigue, shortness of breath, diarrhea, muscle imbalances, poor recovery, and even life-threatening conditions in severe cases. Sodium, potassium,  chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonates are the electrolytes that are needed and must remain balanced to prevent any of those issues. Although all of the electrolytes play a role in the functioning of our bodies, sodium, potassium, and chloride are the most important. 

How Do I Know If I Need More Electrolytes? 

Have you experienced fatigue, cramping, lightheadedness, or nausea during your workouts? If so, you need to learn how to get electrolytes into your diet without sports drinks. According to studies, losing 2% of your body weight during training can decrease your performance. If you are losing 1-2% of your bodyweight it can cause an increase in heart rate and muscle glycogen use while simultaneously causing a decrease in cardiac output, anaerobic power, and time to exhaustion. The easiest way to see what percentage you’ve lost is to weigh yourself before and after your workout and divide that by your pre-training weight than multiple by 100.  If you aren’t experiencing this kind of loss or focusing solely on health, take a proactive approach and make sure your diet is high in food that can provide the electrolytes that are needed. 

5 Ways to Boost Electrolytes 

There are many ways to boost your electrolytes through food, drinks, and supplements. We are going to discuss a few different ways because everyone reading this will have different needs. The person running for 90 minutes outside will likely need more than someone taking a 30-minute class in a climate-controlled environment. 

Incorporate foods

When you are deciding which foods to eat, what comes to mind? It’s important to think about the vitamins and minerals they will provide our body with. When it comes to electrolytes, here are a few things you can add for electrolytes. 

  • To boost your sodium, consider topping a salad with salted pumpkin seeds or a few salted cashews. Did we mention that pumpkin seeds and cashews are also good sources of magnesium? 
  • If you aren’t sure what to pair with your dinner, try lima beans! These are a great source of potassium. If you are looking for something to quickly drink, 100% pomegranate juice is also an option. 
  • Small amounts of chloride can be found throughout your diet, this is one reason variety is key for health. We are big proponents of a food-first approach. Adding crunched seaweed to the top of a rice bowl or as a snack can provide beneficial amounts! 
  • We’ve been taught about milk as a source of calcium, but for those with dairy allergies, fortified plant-based milk is a great source. If you are looking for a new snack opt for steamed edamame, another great source of calcium. 

Drink Coconut Water

You’ve probably heard about drinking enough water while you are working out, especially if it’s less than 60 minutes. For serious athletes and those training for events, it’s crucial to stay hydrated and replenish your electrolytes. You may not want to grab a sports drink if you are concerned about added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or carbohydrates. This is when a natural source such as coconut water can be a great option for you. Research has shown the ability of coconut water to rehydrate the body by providing sufficient carbohydrates, potassium, sodium, and chloride. Any new supplements or nutrition strategies, it’s important to slowly add in new things to prevent any gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, bloating, cramps, etc.

Try an Electrolyte Supplement 

There are many supplements on the market, so we highly encourage you to do your own research. This way you will know what you would like to see and not see in a product. There are many electrolyte supplements available and they offer different amounts of electrolytes. One of my personal favorites is LMNT electrolytes, it provides sufficient electrolytes for the athlete without the added sugars, artificial colors, gluten, or fillers. If you are concerned about what product may benefit you, we recommend speaking with your physician or nutritionist to help!



Incorporate Magnesium Powder Before Bedtime 

We are all about optimization, a great starting point for this is by meeting the recommended dietary allowance of nutrients. According to studies, a whopping 75% of Americans don’t hit the recommended amount for Magnesium. Thankfully, Vessel users can have Magnesium insights in their hands and provide food and supplement recommendations to improve these levels. You can absolutely eat more magnesium-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, almonds, and even dark chocolate! Finishing off your day with a magnesium-packed beverage can be a great way to build supplementation into your daily routine. There are many different forms of magnesium and each provides its own benefit, so reach out to our team of nutrition experts to figure out which will provide the benefits you are looking for. 

Add Greens to Your Post Workout Meal 

It’s time to upgrade your post-workout protein shake. We’ve all seen the protein shaker bottles where you add water and protein then hope for the best. What if you could add a few ingredients packed with electrolytes that boost your recovery? Grab a blender and add your choice of dark leafy greens, chia seeds, banana, pomegranate seeds, or nuts. If you want to create a creamier smoothie, add frozen cauliflower and fresh avocado chunks! One of my personal favorites is a protein shake with grass-fed whey, coconut water, avocado, spinach, and dark red frozen cherries. Want something with chocolate? You can always add raw cacao powder that is packed with magnesium and potassium. 

Hit Your Electrolyte Goals! 

Regardless of if you are an athlete or simply seeking ways to boost your overall health and wellness, electrolytes are important for you. Whether you opt for incorporating more electrolyte-rich foods, supplements, or powder mixes you will reap the benefits of electrolytes. So, discuss your current goals and create a plan based on how to get electrolytes with your physician or nutrition expert to ensure you are optimizing your health and recovery! Let’s say goodbye to fatigue, muscle cramps, and diarrhea and hello to improved recovery, stable energy, and performance benefits. We would love to see you implementing these strategies, tag us on Instagram or Facebook when you start, and let us know what has been working best for you!