How Do Electrolytes Help You When You Are Sick


No one enjoys being sick, but there are some days when it just hits us, and we’re down for the count. Those are the times when we do whatever we can to make the illness go away as fast as possible. We take our vitamins, we sip on our chicken soup, we press a cool damp cloth on our foreheads, yet we still feel terrible. This is because we’re missing one of the key ingredients to restore our bodies: electrolytes. 

Finding electrolytes is as easy as eating the right foods, shopping at your local grocery store, or browsing online for the right beverages. Additionally, companies like carry a multitude of drinks that are loaded with electrolytes and come in a variety of colors and flavors. 

Yet, what are these things that are filling up our waters, and helping us to feel better when we’re sick? Many health coaches recommend them, and doctors and nurses are quick to recommend them, too. It’s important to know what they are so that we can correctly use them for our own well-being. 

What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals that have an electrical charge in our bodies. Furthermore, electrolytes are found in your body’s fluids, including blood. 

Electrolytes are important because: 

  • They keep the fluids in your body balanced
  • They regulate your blood pressure
  • They help maintain the acidity in your blood, specifically your PH levels. 
  • They assist with the contracting of your muscles, especially your heart. 

Basically, electrolytes are the chemicals that maintain your body so it works properly. They’re increasingly important if you find yourself sick and/or dehydrated due to the reasons above.

Sickness And Dehydration

When you become ill, especially with the stomach flu or influenza, your body is inflamed by either bacteria or a virus. This can drain water out of your system by virtue of a fever or sweat, causing nausea and weakness. This makes it very difficult to eat or drink, hence your body will lack the essential nutrients it needs to function well. 

If you’re vomiting as well, all of the vital fluids and natural electrolytes in your body are depleted. This is why you don’t want to move when you’re sick since you don’t have any energy left in your system, which is especially dangerous as you get older

As this happens, your body becomes dehydrated. When dehydration hits, the effects on your entire body feel it. You may experience headaches, fatigue, constipation, irritableness, and, quite often, dizziness. This is when electrolytes must be restored so our bodies can begin recovering. 

Combating Dehydration

Research has shown that when a body loses fluid or electrolytes, the brain cells can signal the rest of the organs that something is wrong with the body. It can be thrown off its course, by the weak connection between the brain and the cells of the muscles. For example, when a runner has been exercising or has just finished a race, and has not been hydrated enough, the muscles can contract and cause great pain throughout the body. This is due to being dehydrated. 

For the best rehydration to occur, there should be water mixed with electrolytes, along with a bit of sugar. Although most people tend to drink sugary beverages when ill because it makes them feel better, this is not a very good concept. An abundance of sugar, when sick with the flu, can cause more cramping in the body and can produce a nasty case of diarrhea. This, in turn, only flushes the body of all its fluids again. The clear alternative is to find a beverage that’s balanced with all the correct minerals and the amount of sugar. Thus, make sure to read the labels for the best solution to help yourself and your family. 

Combating dehydration when you’re sick is the key to a faster road to recovery, making electrolytes as the solution. When your body is fully hydrated, your digestion system works to its fullest function, too. As your gastrointestinal tract functions, it can then absorb all the necessary nutrients from the food you eat. This ensures you’re also getting enough water for your body. Thus, your body’s system can now work appropriately and properly. 

When your system is hydrated, the mucous membranes in your mouth and nose are healed as well. If these particular membranes become dry, it’s usually a sign of dehydration. Steps need to be taken to restore them so they can effectively eliminate any bacteria or viruses that happen during any sneezing or coughing. Hence, it’s the moisture membranes that need to heal so extra bacteria don’t get into your body. 

Keeping your body full of its appropriate electrolytes will help effectively. 

Where To Find Electrolytes

Electrolytes come as sports drinks, electrolyte waters, pediatric juices, supplements, and also in some of the foods that we eat. 

The vital electrolytes that help heal and restore our bodies include sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium. When joined together, they produce an abundance of nutrients to keep our systems hydrated and regulated. 

Most people, when they think of electrolytes, picture some kind of beverage, like a sports drink. However, there are also many foods that contain electrolytes. Though we may not feel like eating when we have the stomach flu, it’s good to know what we can eat to keep our pH levels balanced to make us feel better. 

These edible electrolytes can be found in potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, and some kinds of melon. They’re also available in nuts, dairy, and especially in leafy greens. All of these healthy foods can facilitate in producing the fluids needed in your body to look and feel well. 


Many things happen to your body when you’re sick. Most of these symptoms may come from dehydration. As a result, the body may be weak, dizzy, and nauseous, causing you to suffer from headaches, diarrhea, or vomiting. One of the best ways to combat these ailments is with electrolytes.

When the body is completely hydrated and able to consume the proper nutrients needed to restore its healthy function, it allows you to feel better again.


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