Staying Hydrated Beyond Water – Electrolytes - Lakeside Natural Medicine

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Staying Hydrated Beyond Water – Electrolytes

ByKatarina Meister, ND July 10, 2023

Did you know that our bodies are made up of 60% water?! Water and hydration status tend to be an overlooked and sometimes underutilized determinant of our health. Water is essential for almost every bodily function. Dehydration can happen quickly if someone is not staying adequately hydrated throughout the day.

Benefits of staying hydrated:

  • Maximizes your physical performance
  • Regulates bodily functions (body temperature, regular bowel movements, and is the main component in your cells)
  • Protects you from injury by lubricating and cushioning your joints
  • Helps you detox and boost energy (sweating, urination, defecation = increased metabolism and detox)[i]
  • Anti-aging (you look younger when you are hydrated!)
  • Helps prevent disease (kidney stones, constipation, high blood pressure)[ii]

Signs of dehydration:

  • Dark colored urine
  • Dry skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed
  • Low blood pressure

Quick tips for staying hydrated!

  1. Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily.
  2. Increase water intake with warm weather, working out, breastfeeding, and after caffeine/alcohol.
  3. Use smaller water bottles and refill them often OR use a large water bottle as a tool to keep track of how much water you are drinking daily.
  4. Drink water at specific times of the day – it is always best to start the day with a FULL glass of water.
  5. Minimize soda, caffeine, and alcohol – all of these dehydrate you!
  6. Show up to exercise hydrated – drink 8-16 oz of water prior to exercise. Stay hydrated during exercise: 2-3 gulps every 15 mins.
  7. Monitor hydration with your urine color and use your body as your guide. The more pale yellow or straw colored your urine is, the better hydrated you are.

Ways to Stay Hydrated Beyond Water:

  • Mocktails
  • Iced Tea (with no added sugar!)
  • Add sliced fruit, cucumbers or mint to your water
  • Electrolytes

After you exercise it is important to not only replace water lost through sweating, but it is also crucial to replenish electrolytes that were lost in your sweat. Plain water is NOT the most effective post-exercise rehydration drink.[iii] Minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are electrolytes that are lost through your sweat and have a very important role in hydration. Sodium, which is our main electrolyte, helps to drive water into our cells. In other words, it hydrates us on a cellular level. Many sports performance electrolyte drinks that have these important electrolytes are also filled with sugar. Some contain almost 34g of sugar per serving (Ex: Gatorade)! And not to mention the artificial food dyes they contain!

Below are some of my favorite low-sugar electrolyte options:

Natural electrolytes:

  • Coconut water
  • Lemon and Sea Salt: Squeeze one lemon and add ¼ tsp sea salt to water daily.

Electrolyte Brands I like:

  • Ultima – Lemonade flavor is my favorite! Buy at Outpost, Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, or online.
  • NUUN – easy to travel with and great for athletes! Buy at most grocery stores or health food stores.
  • LMNT – online only. Great for athletes!

[i] Michael Boschmann, Jochen Steiniger, Uta Hille, Jens Tank, Frauke Adams, Arya M. Sharma, Susanne Klaus, Friedrich C. Luft, Jens Jordan, Water-Induced Thermogenesis, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 88, Issue 12, 1 December 2003, Pages 6015–6019,

[ii] Manz F, Wentz A. The importance of good hydration for the prevention of chronic diseases. Nutr Rev. 2005;63(6):S2-5.

[iii] Saat M, Singh R, Sirisinghe RG, Nawawi M. Rehydration after exercise with fresh young coconut water, carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage and plain water. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2002 Mar;21(2):93-104. doi: 10.2114/jpa.21.93. PMID: 12056182.

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

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