1137. Electrolyte Essentials Explained


In the summertime when you're hot or sweating, you lose salt. Most people know this, but many don’t know about the importance of electrolytes.

Dr. Martin was reading a study on electrolytes and wanted to talk about salt in today’s episode. We know we need to drink water, but what about salt for restoring our electrolytes? Salt is important, but so is calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and chloride!


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Dr. Martin:  Well, good morning everyone. Hope you're having a great start to your day, and I hope you can hear me and see me here. I'm traveling today, so we're doing a little bit of an improvisation here, and this morning I wanted to talk to you about salt. Okay? Because I was reading a study again on the importance of electrolytes. And you know what guys? I mean, we think about this probably a little bit more in the summertime when you're hot or sweating or whatever, you lose salt. And most people know that. And today we have a whole industry of electrolytes. I mean, I always joke with my grandchildren that grandpa's favorite Gatorade or Powerade was drinking from a hose when I was a kid and we just drank water. We never thought too much. I guess there were salt tablets around, but nobody ever talked to us as kids. And I played a lot of sports when I was younger. I still play sports. No but, seriously, like nobody ever talked to us about salt.

I remember getting a sample at school. This was back in the seventies of the original Gatorade. I mean, that stuff was the worst tasting. I can remember my colleagues and I, we'd been given samples by Gatorade, and remember it was made for the Florida Gators at the University of Florida. And I mean, it tasted like urine. I mean, it was terrible stuff until I think it was Quaker Oats or Pepsi Cola bought them and then they switched it and they made a sugary drink. I don't recommend that stuff. I really don't. But I do like electrolytes. Okay, guys, I really do like electrolytes. I tell you to put salt in your water. There's a reason I tell you that. Water is key guys. Look, let's just go over some of the basics here, okay? Because you are an electrical grid, you're a solar panel. We talk about sun, steak and steel, the importance of sun, and you have solar panels. Your white blood cells don't work properly without the sun, vitamin D.

So I've been emphasizing that for quite a while, that you are a human solar panel from your brain to your toes, but you're also an electrical grid, okay? Your body works on electricity, your muscles, your heart's a muscle, electricity, your brain, the neurons, those synapses in your brain, it's an electrical grid. Now, what makes that work? Think about what makes electricity work, and that's why I call Niagara Falls, the kidneys of Canada, okay? The kidneys of Canada is Niagara Falls because you need water. You need water for electricity, and all your cells, guys, you got billions of cells in your body, and it's an electrical grid from your tissue to your blood, to your heart, to your brain. So understand that, and that's why I emphasize the importance of water, okay?

And only water is water. Remember that. You can drink other stuff. Have you had your coffee this morning? You can drink other fluids, no problem, no problem. But I tell you, you need water, H 2 O and you need salt. Now, if you've got our new book, Sun, Steak & Steel and Sleep, and another S, salt. Whole chapter on the importance of salt, what do I mean by that? Okay, because I'm really talking to you about electrolytes. Okay? Electrolytes. What are electrolytes? Well, you've got five main ones. Let's talk about those for a sec. Calcium, okay? You have sodium, you have magnesium, you have potassium, and you have chloride. Okay? Sodium chloride, okay? Now you need all five of those. The most abundant mineral in your body is calcium.

Now, when most people think of calcium, they think of their bones, and that's true. I mean, calcium makes up a big portion of your bones. But guys, you need calcium, okay? You need calcium. I'm not big on supplementing necessarily with calcium because if you supplement with calcium, rather than eat your calcium, usually calcium is going to get to the wrong place. It'll stay in your bloodstream. Now, you need some calcium in your bloodstream, but you don't need much. Calcium belongs in your bones, in your teeth, in your nerve endings. You don't want it necessarily to stay in your blood. You need a balance there. Okay? So when I talk about salt, I talk about electrolytes. Calcium is one of them. You know what I think about magnesium? Magnesium is so important because it's involved in over 300 reactions in your body. Magnesium is really important, again, part of the electrical grid, it's important for impulses.

And when I talk about magnesium, the way I remember things is I usually try and identify. Like when I identify calcium, you would identify probably bones, right? Got that? And that's true. It's not false. It's true. When I talk magnesium, I think the word relax. You see if your magnesium gets out of balance, and most people, they don't realize they lack magnesium. Magnesium's not in the soil anymore, okay? So what happens is a most, I'm not, I'm going to say a good 50, 60% of the population is low in magnesium and they don't understand the significance of it. For your heart, you need magnesium. And one of the things that we've been seeing a lot of, and this is to me twofold, it's heart arrhythmias. People today, they get a lot of arrhythmia. That can be very, very dangerous. It can lead to strokes, it can lead to a heart attack.

And one of the biggest factors in there, there's two of them in my opinion, one of them is a lack of magnesium. People don't get enough magnesium and your heart muscle and your blood vessels can't relax properly. I used to tell that to my kids. Relax, you're crossing the line with dad. Relax. Oh, I used to use this voice with great success because I used to scare them. Hey, relax, you're crossing the line. But that's what magnesium does primarily. It does a lot of things. 300 different functions in the body. Magnesium, okay? When you think of magnesium, two, think of your cells. You want to have what they call homeostasis. It is a balance of your fluids outside the cell wall and inside the cell wall, okay? It's really important. Magnesium plays a big part in that. And there's another one in a minute I'll get to it that's even more important than magnesium when it comes to that homeostasis balance, we'll talk about that.

But when it comes to heart, one of the reasons that we're seeing so much trouble with heart disease today is this arrhythmia. And people are dehydrated. They don't know it. They don't have a little light on top of their head telling them that they're lacking water and they're lacking salt. Okay? Salt has got a bad rap, and it's not true. It was never true. It doesn't cause. The only way that salt could cause high blood pressure is in the absence of water. As long you're drinking water, salt is good for you. Now, I don't like table salt because it's not real salt. It's got nothing in it. It's been stripped, okay? It's been stripped of all its nutrients and minerals. It's almost useless table salt. So I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about real salt. Okay?

Now, the second factor in heart disease, I think a big factor today is a lack of coQ10. Now, you know what coQ10 is famous for? CoQ10 is famous because statin drugs has made coQ10 famous. If you take a statin drug, the number one selling medication of all time, it will knock the coQ10 out of your body. Do you know that every mitochondria, every battery pack in your body needs coQ10, especially the heart. And today, because people don't eat meat, because today people think that meat is bad for you and you have to limit it, and we have a whole generation of people coming up and they don't eat enough meat, they don't get enough coQ10, okay? They don't get enough coQ10. And by the way, when someone tells you that you can't get enough minerals in the animal kingdom, I tell you it's craziness. You get magnesium, you get your salts. And I like adding salt. You guys know that. When someone tells you that only the plant kingdom has your electrolytes, that's nonsense. The animal kingdom has electrolytes, it has magnesium, it has potassium, it has sodium, and it has calcium, obviously, and chloride. It has those minerals. Okay?

Now, so we talked about calcium. We talked about magnesium. Let me talk about a third one that's really important. Potassium. Okay? So when you think of the word relax, you think magnesium, when you think especially of your kidneys, kidneys need potassium. Okay? So Niagara Falls, you need water for your kidneys to work properly, and you need salt. You need potassium. You need more potassium than you need magnesium in your body. Potassium is essential. Okay? What is the highest source of potassium? Avocados. Bananas. Nope. You know what's got higher? Bacon. You need potassium. Potassium is really, really important for your kidneys and kidneys when you're dehydrated, when you eat too much sugar.

Okay, because someone was saying yesterday, I saw it last night, I think on our private Facebook group, Dr. Martin, my husband did the Reset and then he developed kidney stones. And then I looked it up and it said, meat and protein, too much protein give you kidney stones. It's the opposite of that. The Reset has nothing to do with kidney stones. Kidney stones are twofold. One oxalate or urate, uric acid, 75% of all kidney stones are oxalates. The other 25% are uric acid. And neither one of them comes from eating meat, oxalates, twofold. Not enough water and too many almonds, spinach and all this. Look, I'm not telling you, you can never eat that stuff, but don't blame meat for what oxalates are doing. 75% of all kidney stone are oxalates. And I'm telling you, I never saw a case of kidney stones without dehydration. People usually, usually were drinking too many fruit juices like orange juice and apple juice and drinking soda and this kind of thing with high fructose corn syrup in it. And those are the things that cause kidney stones. Okay?

So your kidneys need potassium to work properly and potassium, when you have enough potassium in your diet, and I love potassium because you need that to avoid high blood pressure, water and salt. And when I say salt, I'm talking electrolytes, guys. Electrolytes, okay, here's a couple of good tips. How do I lose electrolytes? How do I lose this salt? Well, when you sweat, obviously, okay? When you sweat, you lose electrolytes, you exercise, you lose electrolytes, it's hot. You lose electrolytes. Lot of people very, why is a heat stroke, for example? So serious people can die from that because it's that electrical grid. Guys, think of your heart. It works based on electricity. How many people have had a heart attack? Has nothing to do with cholesterol, nothing to do with that, but they're dehydrated and their electrical grid doesn't work properly. The heart muscle, they don't have enough magnesium to relax blood vessels, and they don't have enough magnesium to relax the heart muscle. They don't have enough potassium. So the kidneys are constricted, the blood vessels are constricted, and now you can have some serious high blood pressure problems giving you a heart attack. Okay?

So big things, okay? Sweating, you don't drink enough water, you're not getting enough salt in your diet. How many people are eating salt free diet? And again, guys, choose your salt wisely. Table salt it's devoid of any benefits at all. I wouldn't use it at all, guys. And that's one of the reasons when you go into the middle aisles of your grocery store and you notice all the salt, they always add the wrong salt, okay? It's not really salt at all. And here's another big factor. I don't care what medication you are on. Any medication from Tylenol over the counter, Advil to any medication, what are they saying? 90% of people or more that are on meds after the age of 60. You're on medications, you're going to be dehydrated. It's simple as that. Just, hey, I have to take a med. I'm dehydrated.

Okay, got the memo? Don't get dehydrated. And dehydration, water, salts. Okay? Water, salt. You need sodium, you need chloride, you need potassium, you need magnesium, and you need calcium. Those are the main minerals that you need, and usually don't get enough in your diet, so add it to your water. Okay? And there are some good electrolyte drinks. I would avoid Gatorade and Powerade and all those. I don't like those things at all. I really don't. Okay, now guys, what's tomorrow? Question and answer Friday. Send your questions in, okay? I should be home, okay? I should be home. Guys, we love you dearly and make sure you get your questions in for question & answer Friday. Talk to you soon.

Announcer:  You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In Podcast, with your hosts, Doctor Martin Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening!

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