WHEN WATER ISN'T ENOUGH
Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., is a nationally recognized nutrition expert and a best-selling author. She is the founder of B Nutritious, a private nutrition counseling and consulting practice in New York City and a contributing member of our Advisory Board.
Hydration is a major focus of my nutrition counseling practice because it’s crucial for overall health and wellness. It’s literally necessary for most systems in your body to properly function. Ironically, drinking enough water is one of the biggest struggles my clients in my practice face.
Dehydration affects more people than you would believe. In fact, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. It’s more than just being thirsty—it can affect everything from cognitive functioning to moods to even brain health. I’ve seen clients struggle with sleep problems, overeating, fatigue and skin issues, and staying hydrated was a key component to helping all of them.
My first goal is always to make sure my clients are drinking enough water as their main source of fluids. Some use timers or apps to help them remember, while others do well with making sure they refill their water bottles at least once throughout the day. But sometimes water isn’t enough, and you need to include electrolytes to actually get adequately hydrated.
Electrolytes are basically the controllers of how much water your body retains. During hot days, sweaty workouts or even a night of drinking, your body needs those electrolytes to help maintain your hydration levels. The most important electrolytes are sodium and potassium. Finding a healthy option to recommend to my clients to replace their electrolytes has always been a challenge. I’m not totally against sugar for this purpose (don’t tell my clients), as when small amounts of sugar are mixed with electrolytes and fluids, it makes it easier on the body to absorb the nutrients needed. Many of the “sports” drinks out there though are more like a candy bar in liquid form, where sugar and artificial ingredients are the main ingredients instead of the more important electrolytes.
Finding a good electrolyte solution to give to my clients and to use for myself was challenging, but that’s why I’m so excited about Cure. It’s made with real ingredients and no added junk or sugar. The coconut water adds a healthy dose of potassium and the pink Himalayan salt is the best way to add sodium. Cure hits those two big electrolyte goals in a convenient packet that can be added to your water when you need it.
So when do you need more than water? A good sweat feels great but it’s important to rehydrate properly as some can lose up to 2 or even 3 liters an hour in a hot, humid workout environment – hello spin class! What about the times when you’re under the weather (from illness or too much fun) and need to drink more water but it’s tough to stomach? That’s another opportunity to add healthy electrolytes to your water. Or even when you’re hot and thirsty but not satisfied from water alone—electrolytes can give you a boost and optimize your hydration status.
Have you thought about your hydration status before? When was the last time you took a sip of water? What about electrolytes? Be sure to comment below!