Electrolytes – your body water managers


The body balance helps create balance in the world

How to stay healthy, boost your detox and physical performance

We owe much of our modern knowledge of nutrition to naturopathy, as opposed to allopathy. You have probably heard the term electrolytes in relation to exercise or diet, and wondered what they are and what all the fuss is about.

A well respected clinical nutritionist, and the right nutrition champion, Dr. Bernard Jensen talks amiably of potassium, sodium, and chloride as “the electrolyte team of nutrients.” They make up the core of super molecules with assigned health tasks. Others are magnesium, phosphate, sulphate, and proteins.

According to naturopathy, a healthy body is rarely deficient in any of the three main electrolytes. However, modern civilisation diet, rich in processed foods, has radically tipped the balance in favour of bad eating habits that can result in chronic health problems.

Today, many people’s goal is to know what to eat, when to eat it and how to combine natural, plant-based foods for optimum nutrition.

Electrolytes and climate connection

It is interesting to note how the nineteenth century science had been catching up with findings of naturopaths who used plant-based nutrition as a basis for their treatments and therapies. It was a Nobel Prize awarded Swedish scientist, Svante Arrhenius, whose research made discoveries about electrolytes – key nutrition elements. He called the electrically charged particles “ions” and classified them into two groups of cations and anions in accordance with their electrical charge. He did this in order to define their role in the body processes.

Furthermore, he is perhaps better known for the innovating the first predictive climate model, which identified industrial pollution as the cause of global warming. We refer to it today as climate change.

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After his discoveries about electrolytes, Arrhenius studied the theories that linked the natural phenomena of the land and the seas and the influence of atmospheric carbon dioxide, CO2 on them. His dabbling in physical chemistry and debates in the Stockholm Physics Society about the causes of the ice ages have also led Arrhenius to predict impacts of the escalating industrial activity on the planet.

His climate findings were so important that The Philosophical Magazine published them in 1896. Although the subject of his research was physical chemistry of the atmosphere, there is a common link between this and the earlier electrolyte study of homeostasis of the system.

The climatic balance is essential to the proper working of the entire system. We know that many interlinked parts make up the whole system and influence the health of the planet. As it is with the Earth’s atmosphere, homeostasis in the body refers to the body water balance. Therefore, it is this overall balance in all its systems that is crucial to maintaining good health.

What electrolytes do in the body and how they benefit you

Electrolytes are to a human body performance what oxygen is to our lungs.

Like oxygen, electrolytes are indispensable. Their job is to coordinate and ensure the right acid-alkaline balance and the right amount of water in the body.

We can avoid dehydration and experiencing muscle cramps due to electrolyte loss by drinking juices and especially pure raw coconut water that has super high concentration of electrolytes. Besides, fruit juice is a much healthier choice of beverage than artificial sports drinks.

Some foods that are also high in these main electrolytes are blackberry and wild cherry juices, sauerkraut, tomatoes, currants, and some fish including herring and salmon.

How do electrolytes work?

Electrolytes are atoms present in the dissolved form in the blood, lymph, plasma and other tissue and cellular fluids. These mineral atoms conduct electricity as they move in the fluids. As all body cells, including the bone cells, are mostly fluid, both on the inside and on the outside, it is thanks to this electric charge that the atom exchange can take place. These mineral electrolytes can flow freely in and out of cells, maintaining chemical balance in the body.

Fresh fruit juices are one of the best-known sources of electrolytes.

Most importantly, these tiny allies interact with cell membranes, allowing nutrients to enter cells and wastes to leave. This fact is especially worth noting when we embark on a detox, a fast or a serious workout, which can trigger a form of detox.

We want to make sure that we keep this electrolyte mix in balance by staying well hydrated. That way, we help our bodies rid themselves of toxins during our fasting and detoxing.

Keeping electrolytes topped up regularly can also help lessen the side effects of some drugs and address chronic ailments involving vomiting and diarrhoea that inevitably lead to dehydration.

To illustrate this, let’s bring in a real life example: snacking on salty foods all day long.

What happens to our water and acid-alkaline balance then?

Salt (sodium chloride) is the most widely used seasoning in the world. Manufactures often add salt to savoury and sweet products to enhance their flavour and preserve them. Although, salt-containing products taste better and have a longer shelf life. When used in excess, they become addictive and even harmful.

Salt versus electrolytes balance

Their biggest adverse effect, apart from increasing the risk of high blood pressure in some people, is on the chemical balance of electrolytes in the body. Eating highly salted foods makes our kidneys work harder to keep electrolytes in balance and regulate acid-alkaline balance. As kidneys get rid of excess sodium chloride in the process, the body loses water because it is the water that carries these chemical elements out of the body.

The body loses all electrolytes, including sodium and chloride, and it dehydrates. So when we have a few glasses of pure, raw coconut water, we quickly replenish these vital elements.

To add to the problem, stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, some herbs, and drugs act as diuretics. Hence, in naturopathic treatments, the sodium blood test is used to determine fluid electrolytes and the effects of drug therapy on the body. Diuretics also wipe out the body potassium by increasing urine excretion. The body loses more water than it takes in, causing further dehydration.

On the upside, table salt is 60% chloride. While chlorine is a deadly chemical, its chemically active form – chloride – stabilises the pH of the blood and promotes healthy heart function, among other things. A good quality, iodised sea salt is a healthier alternative to a refined salt that is more widely available.

How to maintain healthy balance by avoiding dehydration

So as we can see, fruit and other plant-based foods can nourish you on a cellular level. These metabolically active minerals are essential components to regulating homeostasis that our body needs for us to stay healthy. We can aid our body by eating and drinking foods rich in electrolytes. We can utilise the nutrition from our food and live better if we properly hydrate. Likewise, we can then leave this complex work of water management to our amazing body.

Discovery of fruits and their potential to nourish us cannot be complete without trying out for yourself. Fruit festivals are a great way to find out how it all works; you can sample delicious fruit and plant-based creations prepared for you by raw/ vegan chefs. Apart from mouth-watering delights, they also have rich listening morsels to nourish your soul and enrich your plant-based know-how.

This summer’s special California Fruit Festival list of well-known raw/vegan holistic speakers and practitioners, versed in all fruity subjects, is extensive. They have: Elegantly Raw Doreet, James Sant, Dr Robert Morse and Dr Doug Graham, Prof. Rosalind Graham, Anne Osbourne, Kasia Lukasz and many more. So why don’t you head over this summer to your local fruit festival?! If you cannot make it in person, here is an opportunity to discover and learn all about fruit and electrolytes online. We, at Earthvoice especially like the fruit art demos and classes including amazing fruit art sculptures that are going to be on show at the both events.  But, as we have co-created these yummy videos for the event, we are slightly biased so come, join us and discover it for yourself. See you there soon!


“Dr. Jensen’s Guide to body Chemistry and Nutrition.” Dr. Bernard Jensen, Keats Publishing, 2000.


Featured image: Earthvoice. All Rights Reserved.

California Fruit Festival, CFF – image courtesy of the CFF.

Other images: Raisins, Molasses, Kelp, Blackberry fruit, Dandelion coffee.
Sourced from the Flickr’s creative commons, where credit was given.