Electrolytes are a common topic of conversation here at Health By Principle. This is partly due to their remarkable ability to help with migraine prevention, and also partly due to their remarkable benefits to everyone’s health, whether you battle with migraines or not! Electrolytes are valuable minerals in the body that help to balance water levels, provide passages for nutrients to reach our cells, remove waste, and more. Without the proper balance of electrolytes, the body can experience a lot of wonky symptoms. One of those symptoms may be changes in urinary frequency.
In addition to discussing the relationship between electrolytes and urinary frequency, we will also cover the basics of electrolytes: what they are, why we need them, and how to get them.
What Are Electrolytes?
There is some excellent information on the “need to know” about electrolytes in this article. To summarize, electrolytes are minerals in the body. Examples of these minerals are:
All of these minerals/electrolytes play an important role in the body, and a deficiency of them can be detrimental (1).
Why Do We Need Electrolytes?
As we touched on earlier, electrolytes are minerals in our body that play a number of important roles. They can:
With the many influences of electrolytes on bodily functions, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that electrolytes and urinary frequency are closely related.
As we mentioned above, electrolytes are necessary for waste removal, and also hydration levels. Both of these factors are closely related to our frequency of urination. It follows that the relationship between electrolytes and urinary frequency is somewhat cyclical.
Electrolytes Cause Urinary Changes
Often, an electrolyte imbalance will result from something that causes the body to lose hydration quickly. This could be an illness like we discussed, or an excessive amount of some electrolyte causing the body to flush itself out. For instance, if a person has elevated levels of potassium (one of our electrolyte minerals), a symptom might be excessive urination. The same is true in the case of too much calcium (hypercalcemia), which is another one of our electrolyte minerals. When the body detects too much of any one mineral, it may increase urination frequency to flush it out and get back to normal levels.
Urinary Frequency Causes Electrolyte Changes
Now on the reverse side, changes in urinary frequency can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. An example of this would be in the case of consuming diuretics. A diuretic is something which promotes the formation of urine by the kidney. Diuretics do this by hindering the kidney’s ability to reabsorb sodium, which enhances the loss of that electrolyte. This leads to higher urinary frequency, a loss of electrolytes, and therefore, a loss of hydration. Foods and drinks like parsley, dandelion, green and black tea, alcohol, and caffeine are all natural diuretics (4).
Another instance of liquid loss leading to an electrolyte imbalance could also be a sickness like the stomach flu. With vomiting or diarrhea, the body often loses water at a rapid rate, and is left dehydrated and in need of electrolytes to help the body rehydrate.
So, to answer the question of whether or not an electrolyte imbalance can also cause urinary frequency, the answer is yes. An electrolyte imbalance can lead to a change in urinary frequency, and a change in urinary frequency can cause an electrolyte imbalance. It is a cyclical relationship, and one to be mindful of.
The role of electrolytes is crucial, and there are several ways to get a helpful dose of them!
An Electrolyte Supplement:
Perhaps the easiest way to fuel up your balance of electrolytes, is to take an electrolyte supplement! Like all supplemental nutrients, electrolyte supplements can become a daily part of your routine that will help ensure a healthy baseline of hydration. By pairing a supplement with a health-conscious lifestyle, you can help to ensure proper hydration. With it, you help to ensure proper functioning of many different parts of the body.
Health by Principle provides a great electrolyte supplement, and educational bundle which will help you get started on your supplement journey.
There are many beverages which contain electrolytes, although not all are created equal. Unfortunately, many of the widely-marketed brands like Gatorade and Powerade often contain an unhealthy amount of sugar, or chemicals and sweetener alternatives. While beverages may be a convenient way to fuel up, it is important to select beverages with as little sugar as possible. Otherwise, the health benefit may be outweighed by the health detriment.
A less commonly known electrolyte source is pickle juice! This is one that people will either love or hate, as the salty, tangy, brine of pickle juice is undoubtedly an acquired taste. I happen to love it, and was thrilled to find that there are many health benefits to having a few gulps!
For one thing, pickle juice contains probiotics, which are live microscopic bacteria and yeasts that our guts absolutely love. Gut health is a recent, hot topic among health experts. This is probably because of the recent research on the gut-brain connection. Essentially, the health and bacterial balance of our guts seems to significantly impact the health of our brains. This includes a correlation between gut health and anxiety, depression, overall mood, and even the health of our bodies overall.
Pickle juice also is very rich in sodium. Now you may be thinking “wait, salt is bad for my health!” But, as we previously discussed, sodium is actually one of the very electrolyte minerals that we need! As long as you don’t overdo-it on the gulps of pickle juice and drink the whole jar, you should have a fine balance of healthy sodium to balance out your electrolytes. Everything in moderation.
Pickle juice also contains two other electrolyte-minerals, magnesium and potassium! This is pretty great if you are a pickle juice fan like I am. A few gulps of the good stuff, and you’re that much better off with three whole electrolytes! Additionally, pickle juice can help with your blood sugar regulation, may support weight loss, has disease-fighting antioxidants, and can help cure a hangover!
Researchers recommend choosing a jar of pickles that is vinegar-based, and free of any yellow dye or preservatives. This goes back to the “choose carefully” element of all electrolyte-beverages. Make sure your chosen bottle or jar doesn’t contain more harmful ingredients than helpful ones!
It is also important to note that the recommended daily amount of sodium is no more than 2,300 milligrams each day. Considering that three ounces of pickle juice gives you about 900 milligrams, it may be worthwhile to not rely on this (in my opinion, delicious) option as your daily go-to. Pickle juice is definitely a fun and unique way to boost electrolytes, but it may still be best to choose a supplement if possible (2).
Another tasty way to keep the electrolytes flowing is food! Particularly, electrolyte-rich food. Some of the best foods to provide these helpful hydrators are:
Well, I just wrote your grocery list for you. You are welcome!
Truly, these foods are all excellent sources of electrolytes, and other valuable nutrients! If you’re ever at a loss of what healthy foods to add to your fridge or pantry, consider supplementing your hydration with some of these tasty and healthy options.
Electrolytes are a fundamental key to our health. With their many health impacts, electrolytes are the key to a healthy, hydrated balance. Stay hydrated, friends!