Diane May Nutrition Blog

Do You Need Electrolyte Beverages

June 4th, 2023

As we head into summer, hydration is something to keep top of mind as dehydration becomes more of an issue. Everwhere you turn, there are advertisements for electolyte powders and pre workout drinks to “keep you hydrated”. But are they worth it or necessary?  Elecrtolytes are minerals, sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, bicarbonates and phosphate which dissolve into bodily fluids. They are essential for our body to function properly. They are especially important for nerves and muscles, as well as maintaining the pH in our blood, Regulating fluid levels, Supporting blood clotting, building new tissues and nerve signals from the heart, muscle and nerve cells to other cells. When electrolytes are low, it can impair clotting, muscle contractions, acid balance and fluid regulation. If electolytes are high you can develop dizziness, cramps and irregular heartbeat. There are many reasons we can develop an electrolyte imabalance.  Causes include: Sweating, vomiting, diarrhea and fever, chronic respiratory disorders, medications (Cisplatin, diuretics, some antibiotics and steroids) as well as not eating or drinking enough. I am going to focus on sweating. The best sports drink is actually water, but if you have excessive sweating, especially in the heat, Gatorade, pedialyte and powerade are great go to’s, but there are other products on the market. Coconut water, watermelon water, tart cherry juice and powders put in water sich as liquid IV are just a few. It is important to note that most comercial electrolyte drinks (sports drinks) contain more sugar, artifical ingrediants, colors and electrolyte than the average person needs. Reserve those for excessive sweating during prolonged exericise and fluid loss. There are also foods that increase hydration and electrolytes:

  • Banana
  • Dairy
  • Watermelon
  • Chicken
  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Dark leafy Greans
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Fish

Signs of an electrolyte inbalance include:

  • headache
  • Muscle cramps and weakness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Extreme thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Cofusion
  • ABnormal blood pressure
  • Seizure

It is important to note if you suspect an electrolyte imblance, get medical treatment. Consuming a balanced diet, staying well hydrated (but NOT overhydrating), not doing excrercise in extreme heat and keeping balanced sodium (not excessive) intake are all important ways to avoid an electrolyte imbalance. If you are an athlete, elecrolyte drinks may be a beneficail addition to your routine.

Watermelon with Mint Gremolata


This flavor-boosting combo of mint and lime, inspired by the traditional Italian herb-and-garlic gremolata recipe, livens up juicy watermelon. Put a platter out at your next cookout and watch it disappear in an instant.

watermelon with mint gremolata
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 6
Yield: 6 cups
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes, plus wedges for serving
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 pounds watermelon, cut into wedges


  1. Place mint, lime zest, brown sugar and salt on a cutting board and chop together until a paste forms. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice. Arrange watermelon wedges on a platter and spoon the gremolata over the top. Garnish with more mint and serve with lime wedges, if desired.




Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (22% daily value)


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

48 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 1 cup
Calories 48
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 10g
Added Sugars 2g 4%
Protein 1g 2%
Total Fat 0g 0%
Vitamin A 829IU 17%
Vitamin C 13mg 15%
Folate 8mcg 2%
Sodium 83mg 4%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Magnesium 15mg 4%
Potassium 162mg 3%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.