Most popular advice about hydration focuses almost entirely on getting enough water. But it's not just fluids that count. Replenishing electrolytes as the body loses them is just as important. Fortunately, it isn't even hard with such handy solutions as electrolyte tablets.

Let's take a look at what they are.

What Exactly Are Electrolytes to Start With?

Simply put, electrolytes are salts of various minerals with an electrical charge. The body is in constant need of electrolytes. Because they take part in virtually every single bodily function, electrolytes are as essential to good health as it gets. Not to mention that your body can't survive without them.

Potassium, sodium, and chloride make for major electrolytes. This list is often expanded to further include such electrolytes as calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, and phosphate. The body relies on these key electrolytes heavily to deliver fluids where they are necessary. And runs out of them fast as a result.

In fact, the body never stops losing electrolytes. Since they are mineral salts, electrolytes dissolve in bodily fluids. Due to this, the body loses electrolytes every time it has to use fluids. For instance, electrolytes leave the body at a rapid pace during exertion and heat, as you sweat a lot more.

How Do Electrolyte Tablets Work?

When most people try to fend off dehydration, they immediately assume they need to drink lots of water. That's only part of the solution. Without electrolytes, the body will have a hard time absorbing the water. And there's only so much water you can drink until you feel like puking.

Furthermore, the type of water can also stand in the way of proper hydration. Hard water is rich in minerals but takes longer for the body to absorb. Soft water absorbs faster but has a very low concentration of electrolytes. Thus, both these extremes can lead to an even more severe dehydration.

That's where electrolyte tablets come in handy. By delivering a balanced mix of mineral salts and glucose, electrolyte tablets enrich water with electrolytes. As glucose lets them absorb quicker, mineral salts rebuild the electrolyte balance. And help the body make faster use of all the water you're drinking.

When Are Electrolyte Tablets Beneficial?

Almost everyone can benefit from electrolyte tablets at some point. We all require electrolytes to stay healthy and feel well. And we can all appreciate the convenience electrolyte tablets offer.

Sometimes, however, electrolyte tablets are especially suitable:

When overcoming a sickness When you're sick, your body works hard to get rid of the pathogen and the many by-products from its activity. As a result, the body ends up losing a lot more fluids and electrolytes. Electrolyte tablets help you get better at a faster pace.

When working or exercising Physical labor and exercising increase heat production by the body, leading to a higher loss of electrolytes with sweat. Without timely rehydration, the body can't recover and adapt to the stimulus. Electrolyte tablets make for an easy way to rehydrate.

When dealing with heat Extreme heat rapidly increases the body's demand for fluids and electrolytes. And meeting this demand in time is instrumental in warding off serious complications like heat stroke and kidney damage. Electrolyte tablets make this task easier. 

When recovery is difficult Most people avoid drinking too much water when traveling to minimize how often they need to use bathroom. That's why traveling can insidiously dehydrate your body. Drinking water with electrolyte tablets helps you stay hydrated as you travel.

If you relate to these situations, you've a lot to gain from having electrolyte tablets close at hand.

How do you use them, though?

Fixing an Electrolyte Imbalance with Electrolyte Tablets

There are several points to keep in mind when using electrolyte tablets:

First and foremost, be sure to check with your doctor about taking electrolyte tablets.
Take electrolyte tablets as needed, following each dose with a glass of clean water.
Stick to the dosages advised by the manufacturer of electrolyte tablets or your doctor.
Avoid taking electrolyte tablets if you notice that any side effects appear and persist.

If you follow these guidelines carefully, electrolyte tablets will work as intended.

It pays to remember that electrolyte tablets are still a medicine. Use them right, and they will work like a charm, safely maintaining a steady balance of electrolytes in the body. Use them wrong, and you will do more harm than good by taking them in the first place.