When we sweat, we lose more than water. We lose electrolytes as well. Drinking plain water without replenishing lost electrolytes will lead to imbalances and adverse health effects. We need to replenish both water and electrolytes, for proper hydration. Cranberry juice provides both!
We need more than water for good hydration
Electrolytes are essential minerals, and they’re vital for the proper function of the body. For instance, they’re involved in functions of the nervous system and muscle contraction.
When we sweat, we lose more than water. We lose electrolytes as well. Hence, we have to replenish both lost fluids and electrolytes. Especially, athletes who exercise in heat for hours lose a significant amount of electrolytes. They have to replenish them as soon as possible.
We lose electrolytes in the urine as well. Vomiting and diarrhea can also cause excessive electrolyte losses.
Electrolyte imbalances may cause muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, and many more adverse effects. But, in most cases, people who have mild electrolyte imbalances don’t experience any symptoms.
Sweating leads to dehydration. We need to get water and electrolytes as soon as possible. But, just drinking plain water is bad for our health. It’ll cause even greater electrolyte imbalances! We need to replenish both water and electrolytes for proper hydration.
What are the main electrolytes?
The main electrolytes which we have to replenish daily through diet are sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
We can easily get sodium and chloride through table salt. Actually, the scientific name for table salt is sodium chloride. Just a tsp of salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium and 3,450 mg of chloride. More than we actually need a day.[1,2,3]
The recommended daily intake is only 1,500 mg of sodium and 2,300 mg of chloride. Higher doses are linked to adverse health effects.
People who follow a standard Western diet consume much higher amounts of sodium and chloride, though. Fast food and processed products are pretty high in salt.
Even elite athletes, who exercise in extreme heat and sweating a lot, can easily get the extra required amounts of sodium and chloride from table salt. The rest of us should try to avoid the overconsumption of salt!
Cranberry juice is rich in water & electrolytes!
Drinking fruit juices in moderation could help hydrate us. Especially, during summer, due to increased sweating. Juices consist mainly of water and sugar. They also contain electrolytes.
In fact, cranberry juice is good for hydration because it’s rich in potassium, while it contains decent amounts of magnesium and calcium. Cranberry juice contains about 300 mg of potassium, 22 mg of magnesium, and 34 mg of calcium per 10 oz glass.
These amounts are approximately 9%, 5%, and 3% of the daily required doses, respectively.
Moreover, a 10 oz glass of cranberry juice contains about 270g of water. People who have a hard time drinking plain water could benefit the most from drinking fruit juices in moderation.
The best time to drink it is in the morning or after exercise.
You can buy pure cranberry juice on iHerb.
Should I depend on cranberry or other fruit juices for hydration?
Fruit juices are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are beneficial for the body. But, we shouldn’t depend on them for our hydration. They’re packed with sugar and calories as well.
For instance, a 10 oz glass of cranberry juice contains about 155 calories and 34g of sugars! Most people should avoid regular consumption of high amounts of cranberry or any other fruit juice. Especially, if you want to lose weight.
On the other hand, athletes could benefit from drinking fruit juices. Sugar consumption after exercise promotes glycogen replenishment and muscle recovery!
Actually, the best way to stay hydrated is to drink a lot of water, and consume a wide variety of foods high in electrolytes. Whole fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts are great dietary sources of electrolytes.
Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, and almonds are the richest foods in magnesium. Following a diet high in magnesium could also help you lose weight.
Besides milk and dairy, there are great plant-based sources of calcium. For instance, kale, collard greens, arugula, spinach, beans, and chia seeds are high in calcium.
Pistachios, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are also particularly rich in potassium!
So, drinking a lot of water and following a healthy, well-balanced, plant-based diet is enough to constantly stay well hydrated.