We’ve always been told to keep up the fluids, especially during these hot, humid summer days. You might find yourself reaching for the water bottle more often, but do you ever find yourself still feeling thirsty and despite drinking a substantial amount of water?

Are you feeling drained, a bit like your battery is flat and you’ve got just enough charge to maybe make it to the end of the day? Let’s take a closer look at why you might be feeling this way, despite your best efforts at keeping a healthy and active lifestyle. Hold tight, we’re going to get scientific here!

Our bodies operate on electrochemical reactions. The food we consume contains essential minerals that fuel these reactions. If we meet our daily requirements of these essential minerals, our “body battery” can be said to be fully charged. If you have a deficiency of a mineral, then you can be left with a “drained” battery.

This is how one of my clients described it to me. I had to learn more about why he was feeling this way. He said he exercises every day, sweats like an animal, works part of the day outside and sweats some more. I could see vertical ridging on his nails and his tongue had a crack/line down the middle. All of these were signs of low mineral content. Moreover, he said he drinks around four to five litres of water a day.

Drinking plenty of water, while important for hydration, can also lead to dilution of your essential mineral content, which can cause you to feel drained. Your body also loses a lot of these electrolytes and fluids through sweat when you exercise, or in the case of a hot summer day, just existing outside of an airconditioned room. We need to replace the electrolytes as well as the fluids.

So how do we keep everything in balance?

  • Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and other foods rich in essential minerals will help replace lost electrolytes. The fibre and minerals will also help your body absorb the water into your cells.
  • Sports drinks will replace the electrolytes lost through sweat. Especially after intense exercise, they can help you stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes in balance. However, these are usually full of sugar so be careful how much you consume.
  • Supplementation can also benefit you but as always, make sure you seek advice from a health practitioner.

Remember, water is important for hydration, especially for any heavy sweaters, but so is keeping on top of your essential minerals to make sure your hydration is effective! If you’re still feeling flat, it’s best to see your health professional to find out if anything else might be at play here.