By Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
We have all experienced an electrolyte imbalance. When left unchecked, this imbalance can cause serious health concerns, especially if the condition becomes chronic. In simple cases, it can be resolved by drinking more water, eating foods containing the right electrolytes, or by taking a supplement.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of electrolytes, what happens if you get an electrolyte imbalance, and what you can do to get yourself back on track.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes is a term used to describe particles that possess either positive or negative charges. In food and nutrition, electrolytes pertain to the essential minerals found in the blood, urine, and sweat. These minerals dissolve in fluid which then form electrolytes. These electrolytes are then used by the body in various metabolic processes.
These are some of the electrolytes found in the human body:
If you’re wondering why they ring a bell, it’s because they’re often listed in food labels as part of the Nutrition Facts – telling you how much mineral you’re ingesting per serving of food or beverage. In fact, electrolytes are a critically important part of every diet.
The most commonly found electrolytes are sodium and chloride as they are naturally found bound together as sodium chloride, also known as table salt. Because of the abundance of salt in our diet, it’s unusual to be sodium or chloride deficient unless you have a medical condition that prevents your body from metabolizing salt.
The least common among electrolytes is magnesium, a mineral of which, researchers say, 75% of Americans aren’t getting enough.  Almonds, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts are all good sources of magnesium. Many women with PCOS find that they need additional supplementation.
Major functions of electrolytes
The body uses electrolytes to perform a variety of metabolic processes necessary for optimum health. Below are some of the roles of electrolytes in our body.
The brain wouldn’t be able to pass its commands without enough electrolytes. This is because when sodium – one of the most abundant electrolytes in the body – moves across the nerve cell membrane, it helps trigger a chain reaction that generates small electrical charges. 
The electrical charges are then used to create nervous impulses which the brain uses to send signals across the body.
Muscles are incapable of autonomous movement and require signals from the brain to tell them what they need to do. More than that, they also require help from something as small as electrolytes (specifically calcium) to help with muscle contraction. 
Magnesium is also necessary so your muscles can relax after contraction as well as for the muscle fibers to slide outward when needed.
During exercise, without electrolytes, not only will you tire easily and struggle with your activity, but you’ll also risk suffering from really bad muscle cramps even if you didn’t even overexert yourself.
Electrolytes are critical when it comes to maintaining adequate levels of hydration throughout the body. Sodium, in particular, helps maintain fluid balance through a process called osmosis.
Osmosis is when water moves from a place with low solute (lower electrolyte concentration) to a place with high solute (higher electrolyte concentration). It’s basically water being attracted to “drier” regions in the body which helps prevent over and under hydration – which could lead to cells either bursting for having too much water or shriveling up due to dehydration. 
Your body is constantly trying to maintain balance or a condition called homeostasis. Homeostasis is when everything in the body is just right, without any spikes or dips in nutrients, hormone secretions, and of course level of acidity. When it comes to balancing acidity, electrolytes have been shown to be a factor in maintaining adequate pH levels. 
Electrolyte imbalance and what it does to your body
Electrolytes help keep fluid balance inside and outside your cells. They make sure our cells are optimally hydrated, not dehydrated or over-hydrated. If something triggers an electrolyte imbalance – medication, sudden change in lifestyle and habits, fad diets, and diseases – this can result in the body producing too much or not enough electrolytes and minerals.
Severe symptoms could also include confusion and sudden change in behavior, seizures, and chest pain. If any of the symptoms are present, you should call an ambulance right away.
Preventing electrolyte imbalance
In many cases, electrolyte imbalance is preventable.
Urine color is a good indicator of hydration level. Barring discoloration due to medicines, vitamins, or supplements, a “clear” urine indicates optimal hydration whereas a dark yellow tinge means you need to drink water. If you’re about to exercise or do some strenuous activity, checking the color of your urine before is a good way to tell if you drank enough water.
Stay hydrated during activity. Sports drinks often advertise electrolytes, but they typically contain way too much sugar for women with PCOS. I suggest always drinking lots of water and adding PCOS Diva Revive on strenuous days. Drink when you’re thirsty, but also drink before you’re thirsty. Try to keep hydration levels consistent.
Getting your electrolytes balanced again
Prevention is always better than cure. However, if you suspect electrolyte imbalance and want a way to treat it, you can try to balance your electrolytes with dietary adjustments (including foods high in minerals as well as managing proper hydration) or through supplementation.
If you do plan on supplementing, look for products that contain the following ingredients:
- Electrolytes. For obvious reasons, an electrolyte supplement is not complete without the actual electrolytes as ingredients. Be on the lookout for minerals like magnesium, sodium, and chloride.
- D-Ribose. This not-so-common ingredient is a type of naturally occurring carb and factors in the body’s energy production. As part of an electrolyte supplement, ribose helps with cramping and stiffness.
- Taurine. Another ingredient that helps with cramps as low taurine levels have been associated with the symptom. Apart from symptom relief, taurine helps the body by boosting cell hydration.
- Citrus. Citruses often contain calcium and potassium. When combined with salt, citruses help balance the fluid levels in the body.
Your Solution: PCOS DIVA REVIVE
PCOS DIVA REVIVE is especially designed to boost hydration, regulate blood pressure, support exercise recovery, and more importantly, replenish lost electrolytes. Not only does it contain the ingredients highlighted, it also has quercetin and rutin, two potent antioxidants that not only help fight inflammation and oxidation, but also aid in muscle recovery. Magnesium and potassium also support systems associated with chronic stress.
Amy Medling, best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.