The number of electrolytes lost per day depends on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include a person’s weight and activity level. It is also influenced by the duration and intensity of activity, humidity, and sweat loss.
Sodium gets a bad rap sometimes, but it isn’t bad for our bodies generally. Keep in mind how sodium helps. Our bodies need sodium to help regulate certain functions and maintain homeostasis. (Homeostasis is a dynamic physiological process of internal balance. In this state, our bodies can maintain important things like temperature and blood pressure through changing external factors.) When we sweat, sodium is the main electrolyte we lose.
So then is it necessary to replace sodium or other electrolytes through supplements?
For the average person, consuming a well-rounded diet of whole foods is all you need. This will restore electrolyte levels to meet the daily recommended amount. Bicarbonate is naturally produced in the body, but we otherwise replenish electrolytes our diet. It’s important to get plenty of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats from nuts and seeds.
Let’s take a closer look at sodium…
The recommended amount of sodium varies depending on which health expert you talk to. It’s also based on individual needs. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a person should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. This is equal to roughly one teaspoon of table salt.
Many Americans get a lot more sodium than they actually need. This is especially true because of the increased consumption of processed foods. So for the average person, it’s not necessary to replace sodium in the diet through an electrolyte supplement.