Sponsored By: Ultima Replenisher
What is an electrolyte + What do electrolytes do?
Electrolytes are basically essential minerals (such as sodium, calcium and potassium) that are important in helping our bodies regulate themselves. They balance our Ph levels, help with muscle cramps, help with fatigue, combat dehydration and are necessary for our overall nervous system to function. You usually hear a lot about electrolytes when it comes to overheating, being active, playing sports or even as an aid for coping with illness. That’s because staying hydrated is so important. Our bodies lose important minerals through sweat/urine (as well as vomiting/diarrhea) and taking an electrolyte supplement helps to restore these minerals to boost ourselves out of the slump.
2. Why does Ultima (our favorite electrolyte drink) help us with our chronic illnesses?
While we’re far from athletes and we do our best to avoid the sun (as we’re very heat intolerant), we still get huge benefits from drinking Ultima. For starters, it’s extremely important for us to stay hydrated. Of course everyone’s body functions better with enough liquid (and who doesn’t want to function better) but with our autoimmune and autonomic issues this is especially important. With POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) in particular, we tend to have low blood volume and we are often cursed with low blood pressure and high heart rates.
Before we found Ultima, we were guzzling lots of water everyday but our bodies weren’t holding onto liquid the way they needed to. Therefore, we were actually flushing out our electrolytes and we weren’t benefiting from the hydration we thought we were getting. With our chronic illnesses there is always a fine line between feeling “normal” and feeling bad, and the first line of defense for us is to make sure we are properly hydrated – that’s where Ultima comes in. Drinking electrolytes helps us tremendously if we’re dipping and, in fact, does a lot to prevent the dips from happening in the first place. Ultima is always the first thing we drink in the morning for that reason and it sets us up for the day.
3. Do you have any negative effects with MCAD (Mast Cell Activation Disorder/Syndrome) + drinking Ultima electrolytes?
We know how finicky MCAD ( Mast Cell Activation Disorder/Syndrome) can be and how the symptoms can change vastly from patient to patient, but we, personally, haven’t had any negative reactions to any of the Ultima electrolyte flavors – and trust us, we’ve tried them all. There aren’t any artificial coloring or artificial flavors in any of these products (which can be a big trigger for us both). We always make a habit of introducing all new foods/drinks one at a time to make sure our MCAD stays at bay, and that is the practice we always recommend. This works well because if something flares our symptoms, then it’s relatively easy to pinpoint the source. Even when we were just starting on our low histamine diets (click here for more info) Ultima was one of the first drinks we introduced back into our regime because of it’s pure ingredients.
4. How often do you recommend drinking electrolytes? How much is too much?
How often varies from person to person depending on how they’re feeling and what their needs of the day are. We typically get up and drink electrolytes before we consume anything else. Everyone wakes up already dehydrated from the night and then most of us consume a caffeinated beverage shortly after waking. Caffeine is a diuretic and further dehydrates us, so it’s important to get our good fluids up first thing. From there we usually have electrolytes another couple of times more during the day but on days when we feel especially depleted and our bodies need the extra support, we’ll drink them all day long.
Of course, if your electrolytes drinks/powders include a variety of artificial ingredients and/or sugar then you definitely shouldn’t be drinking that all day – so always read your labels carefully before consuming anything! This is one of the reasons we favor Ultima.
5. Why do we pick Ultima electrolytes over other products on the market?
So, as mentioned above, it’s a product that we can drink daily without any negative effects. That really appeals to us because, if we’re having a particularly bad day, we need to be able to drink lots of electrolyte servings without worry. Which brings us to our second reason, Ultima electrolytes are sweetened with stevia (zero sugar) so it won’t throw off your glucose levels. If we have a day where we need to drink electrolytes constantly, we are not going to want a brand that has 10+ grams of sugar with each serving. By the end of the day that really adds up and we generally try to keep our sugar intake pretty low.
The product also has no synthetic colors or artificial sweeteners; all it’s colors and flavors come from fruit and vegetable extract. Lots of people use sports drinks to replenish but they generally have a ton of sugar and artificial ingredients (which we hate). And finally, we are also really big fans of the way Ultima tastes. If you’re going to drink something all day long, you want it to taste good!
6. How do you know when you need electrolytes?
This also varies from person to person depending on their health and their needs. Typically, we recommend that everyone drink electrolytes regardless of chronic illness(es) just for extra support. However, if you’re dealing with signs of dehydration (headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, sluggishness) then you definitely need them. For us, drinking electrolytes mostly helps when our blood pressure is low. They allow our bodies to “hold on to” the water we’re drinking and properly utilize it. When we start to dip, that’s our signal to get some Ultima in us right away.
7. Do we drink Electrolytes in the fall + winter too? Or only in the summer?
We drink this year round and always recommend the same. Sure, when it’s extra hot out or you’re sweating more than normal, you’ll likely need to up your dose. But that’s not to say you don’t need it when you’re not hot! Your body will still function best when it’s properly hydrated at all times and the best way to do that is with electrolytes and plenty of water.
Let us know if you have any questions about Ultima that we didn’t answer!