Electrolytes during pregnancy are more important than you might think.
Did you know that when you are pregnant, you lose more electrolytes than at any other time in your life?
Why could that be? As every pregnant woman knows, you’re peeing all the time!
Therefore you’re losing electrolytes at an increased rate. Your baby is also depleting them too.
So many pregnant women come in to see me at my clinic, with signs of dehydration and electrolyte depletion and imbalance.
What many people do not realise is water alone is not enough to hydrate you.
So, here’s everything you need to know about electrolytes during pregnancy.
Electrolytes during pregnancy
You need electrolytes to properly hydrate and carry fluids around your body properly. Being pregnant is no exception, and in some cases, even more important.
Signs you need to take electrolytes during pregnancy are:
#1: Feeling thirsty all the time. If you’re still thirsty after drinking lots of fluid, you may need more electrolytes. Please be careful this is not a sign of diabetes either – check in with your health care provider.
#2: Swelling in your limbs and other parts of your body. While this is fairly normal in pregnancy, it’s also due to fluid not being transported properly, which is what electrolytes help with.
#3: Getting constipated. Even with adequate fibre, you are still not moving your bowels properly. This could be from lack of electrolytes and fluid imbalance.
#4: Headaches. Many headaches people experience are actually from being dehydrated. Electrolytes will ensure adequate hydration.
#5: High blood pressure. Electrolytes and magnesium can help regulate blood pressure.
#6: Morning sickness. While an imbalance of electrolytes may not be the cause of morning sickness (or should we say all day sickness), they are definitely needed if you’ve been vomiting and are nauseous.
#7: Haemorrhoids. This may be the result of being constipated and a lack of hydration, which then causes straining.
#8: Illness. During time of illness and using certain medications, it can deplete your electrolyte balance.
#9: Breast Feeding. Electrolytes are a great help during breast feeding, to help keep you hydrated and with a good milk supply. If you keep up your water and electrolyte intake right after the birth, you may be able to help avoid post-birth constipation. Avoiding processed foods (cereals, breads, pasta etc.) will also help you to avoid constipation.
There are so many other conditions that could mean that you need to top up your electrolytes.
Buyer beware – sports drinks are not always electrolytes
Please be aware that drinks like Gatorade, Powerade and all those other ‘sports lolly water’ drinks are not electrolytes. Nowhere on the bottle does it even say electrolyte. They are just over commercialised cordials, with a tiny bit of added salt and lots of colouring. Give them a wide berth!
Please only use Hydrolyte or a proper sports electrolyte, such as the one we use called Endura. While coconut water does contain electrolytes, it is not a complete electrolyte in its function, so don’t get tricked into thinking it’s a proper electrolyte. You need quality electrolytes during pregnancy – your body will notice the difference.
Are you getting enough electrolytes during pregnancy? Or is it time to get started?