I, like many of you over the years, have experienced illness. I just didn’t like being sick or being told I had the flu, etc. So, I did something about it. I have been a perennial student of health for well over 40 years now. That is why I do all this research, and pass what I find onto you – my readers, hoping what I discuss may be of value to you and yours at least one time in your lifespan.
I was, what I thought was on death’s door with the flu. I was vomiting, sweating, and had diarrhea to the point that I was so weak I could not even stand up. I ended up in the ER. The doctor said I had lost all my electrolytes and needed to build them back up. He sent me home and told me to eat nothing but white rice plain – with no butter and all the goodies that make it taste wonderful; eat bananas; and drink Gatorade. He said that if I did this for 3 meals a day for a whole week, I would have built up the electrolytes and would be all better. He was right. However, I did not know what Electrolytes were, as many of you may not know as well.
Many people do not understand what electrolytes are or why they are important to our state of health. Severe consequences can result from an imbalance of electrolytes in our body. So, what are ELECTROLYTES?
“Electrolytes are salts that become charged molecules, called ions, when they are dissolved in a liquid. Their electrical charges and ability to conduct electricity helps the body to send electrical signals from one cell to another. The different types of electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, calcium, sulfate, magnesium and phosphate.” (information provided by Fitday)
I like the way the Fitday Editor words this so that I can understand it, as I hope you will also. Continued research tells us that electrolytes maintain the electric voltage throughout the cells so that signals can pass easily. This electrolyte communication helps bodily functions that are dependent on it. The functions that depend on it include: regulation of nerve and muscle function (like the heart muscle), acidity levels and fluid levels. E.g.’s bicarbonate is an electrolyte that is responsible for regulating heart muscle and insufficient levels of bicarbonate would result in irregular heart beats, which, as we know today, are prevalent and can be fatal.
As I was having diarrhea and vomiting and sweating profusely, the balance of electrolytes in my body were being changed. That is why the doctor said I needed to replenish them and fast. That is where the rice (containing all of the electrolytes), the bananas (potassium, etc.), and Gatorade (potassium and sodium) – came in. The time limit made it a quick replenish. And, not eating anything else allowed the quick replenish without the interference of other supplemental intake.
Electrolytes are found in a well-balanced diet that is rich in vegetables and fruit. Today, they make many sports drinks that are fortified with potassium and sodium. The only one I would drink would be the Gatorade, as it is deemed by the medical field personnel to be the most authentic and works.
The importance of electrolytes in the human body is undeniable. “The body functions and systems they support are vitally extensive. It is difficult for our bodies to survive without them.” With better knowledge and the understanding of what electrolytes are, we can easily learn to replace them, naturally.
NOTE: I did not have the flu. At the time this happened to me I was a ‘runner’. I ran everyday- no matter what the weather. I ran inside on a track and outside around the football field at the college. I ran uphill, downhill, everywhere, and I ran in 5 K’s and 10 K’s. No one had ever told me about how excessive exercise can deplete the body of supplements and more importantly ELECTROLYTES. I thank the ER doctor who enlightened me.