Electrolytes play a vital role in supporting women transitioning into menopause, offering numerous benefits during this significant life stage. Incorporating electrolytes into one's diet and daily routine can help ease some of the common symptoms experienced during menopause and promote better overall health.
The electrolyte family includes vital minerals like sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate. These minerals carry an electrical charge facilitating the transmission of information between cells and relaying messages throughout your body.
Collectively this family is involved in thousands of bodily functions but today I’m going to focus on a handful of these that are very relevant to us, at this stage of life. What I love about the use of electrolytes is this one addition has the possibility to provide multiple benefits across the board.
For women in midlife, low electrolyte levels are common. Especially if you are experiencing excessive sweating from hot flushes and night sweats, as you are losing these valuable minerals via the skin. Heavy or long menstrual bleeds can also deplete electrolytes in your menstrual flow.
Fatigue is the most common complaint during the menopausal transition and while electrolytes don’t directly contain the body’s main energy currency which is adenosine triphosphate or ATP for short, they are crucial co-factors required for ATP energy production, usage, and recycling.
Are hot flushes or night sweats concerning you? Excessive sweating can promote dehydration. Low Electrolytes are also associated with dehydration, as electrolytes are needed to regulate water balance in and out of your cells. Without adequate hydration your nervous system can’t communicate effectively with your body and this can trigger more hot flushes or night sweats. It’s a vicious cycle that can keep spiraling until you interrupt this pattern. Daily electrolyte consumption can help rehydrate your cells and break the sweating cycle.
Maintaining adequate hydration levels also prevents fluid retention and can assist with lymphatic movement and detoxification.
In regards to heart health electrolytes plays a significant role in regulating your blood volume, blood thickness, and blood pressure. They are also essential for proper muscle function, did you know your heart is muscle? Electrolytes signal your heart to contract and relax, controlling the rhythm of the heart. I have personally found electrolytes very effective in reducing my heart palpitations. Dizziness is another condition that can be caused by blood pressure changes and may be improved with the use of electrolytes.
Have you been experiencing headaches, muscle cramps, twitches, or spasms in general? The heart isn’t the only muscle to benefit from electrolytes every muscle in your body requires them for proper function and these symptoms indicate a deficiency.
Electrolytes are critical for maintaining strong and healthy bones, reducing the risk of fractures, and improving overall skeletal strength.
Have you considered the role of electrolytes in regard to your adrenal health? They play a crucial role in the production and regulation of adrenal hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and nor-adrenaline, these are often called your stress hormones. An imbalance here can promote the sensation of feeling stressed, anxious, or frazzled.
High levels of stress hormones can also disrupt your circadian cycle and interrupt your sleep.
The menopausal transition itself can lead to changes in skin health such as dryness. Low electrolytes and dehydration can contribute to further skin changes at this time. Maintaining good hydration and adequate electrolyte status helps to promote good overall skin health and minimise fine lines and wrinkles associated with dry skin.
Electrolytes also play a role in insulin sensitivity and blood sugar balance, 2 important roles to help prevent weight gain and to reduce the development of blood sugar disorders such as diabetes.
Have you been experiencing brain fog? Earlier on I mentioned that electrolytes carry an electric charge and facilitate the movement of messages around the body. We need them to create optimal brain signals and electric activity. Better brain communication equals clearer cognition and easier recall of memories.
Electrolyte deficiencies can also promote the sensation of nausea.
To gauge if you could benefit from additional electrolytes, take my 7-day challenge. Choose a “clean electrolyte product. One without sugar, artificial colours, favours, or preservatives and take one serving a day. After a week assess how you feel. If you are experiencing increased energy, better sleep, fewer headaches, less leg cramps it indicates you have been low on these vital minerals and should continue taking them.
This challenge isn’t for everyone, if your healthcare provider has recommended you to follow a potassium-sparing or a low-salt diet, please follow up with them before trying this at home.
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