All About Zest's Fasting Electrolyte Powder
Electrolyte supplements, like our Zest Electrolyte Powder Packs, are designed to replace the natural salts that your body loses everyday. When we sweat, workout or just go about our lives like normal, we lose electrolytes that need to be replaced in our diet.
Through food and drink, including just plain water, we reabsorb electrolytes that have numerous benefits for our body.
But when we are intermittent fasting or dieting for weight loss, we might not be getting all the nutrients we need. That's where electrolyte supplements step in, increasing electrolyte intake without breaking your fast.
In this guide, we're going to explore the best electrolyte powder (spoiler alert, it's Zest), how it can be consumed while you're fasting, and the awesome benefits you'll receive!
What Is Electrolyte Powder?
Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals. Pure electrolyte salts, like sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride are the most well-known and they're found in numerous foods and drinks - even standard table salt.
Maintaining optimal electrolyte balance is important for numerous reasons. Hydration, muscle function, and blood pressure can all be impacted by having an optimal electrolyte balance.
We lose electrolytes naturally - it's unavoidable - however we lose them at a greater degree when we are dehydrated, e.g. when we have lost water through sweating during a workout, or after the diuretic effects of alcohol (read What to Drink for a Hangover to learn more).
For optimal absorption, consuming an electrolyte supplement is a great solution. It fills in the gaps that your diet may miss and ensures you consume all that you need. Our Hydration Electrolyte Powder, for example, contains 700mg of electrolytes!
The Dangers of Electrolyte Deficiency
An electrolyte deficiency occurs when your electrolyte levels drop and you don't replenish them through your diet. Symptoms of an electrolyte deficiency may include:
- Neurological symptoms such as confusion, irritability and fatigue,
- Muscle cramps, numbness or general weakness,
- Digestive problems (either diarrhea or constipation),
- A noticeably fast heart beat,
- Nausea and/or vomiting.1
Obviously, these symptoms are quite common for an endless list of conditions (including keto flu2) so you should speak with your doctor if they persist and don't seem to be solved by consuming more electrolytes. You should also contact your doctor immediately if you have any adverse reactions to electrolyte beverages!
Extended fasting drains your electrolyte levels without replenishing them. It's important to address an electrolyte imbalance as an extreme deficiency can result in seizures, a coma, and even sudden cardiac arrest.
Drinking Electrolyte Powder During Intermittent Fasting
Pure unflavoured mineral salts are in a variety of foods and drinks. Plain water and apple cider vinegar, for example, may contain electrolytes and be totally fine to consume during your fast... although not very tasty!
Fasting induced sodium loss is a particular problem that you should address when you rehydrate. Sodium chloride (table salt) gets a bad rep, and while it's certainly true that you should avoid consuming too much salt, not consuming any can also be problematic. Sodium controls fluid levels, nerve function and muscle function. So, make sure that your electrolyte drink provides sodium in particular.
However, any electrolyte drink that contains sugar or provides a high caloric intake (above your daily allowance while fasting) is unlikely to be suitable. This is especially true if your goal with fasting is to reduce your body weight. The aim is to get your body burning existing glucose and fat stores for energy, not relying on your diet.
At Zest, our powder packs contain a small amount of sugar and a low calorie count. There's approximately 7g of pure cane sugar and 35 calories per serving. Some fasting diets limit you to 50 calories per day, so it's comfortably below that!
If your fast must forgo all sugar and calories, then the best time to use our electrolyte powder drinks is at the end of your fast during your break period. It will replenish your body without overloading it with calories.
Beverages That Won't Break Your Fast
Sugar-free fasting salts capsules may be more suitable for your fast, but double check that they're gluten free and don't contain any nasties. Any fasting electrolytes powder that has no glucose will also be suitable.
However, the reason we add just a pinch of sugar to our electrolyte beverages at Zest is that it provides energy and food for your brain (did you know that your brain uses ~20% of your body's glucose derived energy?3) and can actually help your body absorb water, sodium and chloride.
Other fast-friendly beverages include:
- Bone broth,
- Coffee (no milk),
- Black or green tea,
- Zest hot energy tea,
- Zest functional hot tea,
- Zest zero-sugar ready-to-drink energy beverages.
Add each drink gradually so your body can adjust.
The Powerful Ingredients in Zest Electrolyte Powder
Suitable for low carb diets, with keto electrolytes and not-so-keto flavor ingredients, our electrolyte powders are awesome for extended fasting!
Sodium, in chloride and citrate forms, is included in all our electrolyte powders. Sodium supplementation ensures that you retain hydration. Body cells that are full of electrolytes draw in water through osmosis, keeping your cells hydrated for longer. Low sodium levels can actually make it harder for your body to retain hydration.
Furthermore, your kidneys start expelling sodium when you fast, primarily due to the drop in insulin and increased exertion of ketone bodies.4
Adding more sodium to your diet as you fast will:
- Help maintain blood pressure,
- Aid muscle function,
- Assist the nervous system.
You lose sodium when you sweat, so if you are working out during your fast you may need even more sodium in your electrolyte mix. All our powder mixes have clear ingredients lists, so there's no more guesswork.
Chloride, in the form of sodium chloride, also drops during long term extended fasting. You can find chloride in tap water, table salt (sodium chloride), natural foods including shrimp, and our electrolyte powders at Zest.
A good chloride electrolyte balance will ensure:
- Blood fluid levels and pressure are at optimum,
- Your body is hydrated,
- You can preserve electrical neutrality.
After sodium, chloride is the most abundant electrolyte and a deficiency can cause a wide range of disorders.5
We use potassium in the form of tripotassium citrate rather than potassium chloride in our electrolyte powders. This form of potassium electrolyte supplementation is found naturally in fruits and is highly soluble in water, so will mix easily into your drink.6
Good potassium electrolyte levels will help:
- Support your heart health,
- Aid nerve and muscle function,
- Assist nutrients moving in and out of cells,
- Support your metabolism.
Not every fasting supplement consists of potassium, with some choosing to include magnesium instead.
Supporting your brain's ravenous glucose appetite is important for energy, focus and recovery. Glucose is an essential nutrient that your body needs, so going sugar-free-everything might not be the solution you think it is.
During intermittent fasting or a low carb diet, the goal is often to use up stored sugar to reduce body weight. So, a very sugary or high-calorie beverage is not ideal. That's why we have only 7g of sugar in each of our powder pack servings, to keep it sweet without giving you a sugar rush and ruining your fasting goals.
Furthermore, when you fast your insulin levels drop, forcing your body to use up liver glycogen stores and then break down fat cells for energy. Most intermittent fasts alternate between this fasting stage where your body burns fat, and the fed stage where your body burns the sugars you've consumed.7 Our electrolyte powder can also be used during this fed stage.
Vitamins and Minerals
A squeeze of lemon juice in your bottle of water isn't going to provide all the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain your metabolism, bone health, and everything in-between. Rather than providing a pure electrolyte powder, our beverages contain a range of vitamins and minerals to support general health.
- Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C),
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3),
- D-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5),
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6),
- Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12).
During short-term extended fasting, you may see a slight drop in vitamin levels. However, long-term fasting can see greater drops that could lead to deficiencies if you don't replenish your body.
Five Great Benefits of Electrolyte Powder
When you practice extended fasting for the first time or start the ketogenic diet, you may experience side effects that range from a grumpy mood through to muscle cramping.
Thankfully, some of these symptoms may be eased by ensuring a good electrolyte balance.
Here are five great health benefits to take note of.
Maintain Muscle Function
Electrolytes that aid muscle function include sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphate. They allow muscle fibers to slide and move properly, assisting muscle contraction.
Furthermore, a recent study found that participants who consumed electrolytes rather than plain water during and after exercise were less susceptible to muscle cramps.8
Improve Blood Pressure
An electrolyte supplement may taste salty, but it's actually good for your blood pressure unlike too much table salt! Hypertension is one of the high risk factors that is partly responsible for 29 million deaths globally. Thankfully, consuming electrolytes has shown to have beneficial blood pressure lowering effects.9
Sodium is the most important of the fasting electrolytes that are lost during your diet, and while it's important not to consume too much salt (the FDA recommends less than 2,300mg per day10) you still need sodium chloride to hydrate and maintain your blood pressure.
It's all about finding that balance.
Lower Body Weight
Electrolytes can help you maintain a sugar-free or low carb diet while staying healthy and strong, which in turn can help with burning fat. This is especially true when you consider how electrolytes aid muscle function, assisting your workout and helping you burn even more fat. You can stay hydrated and strong as your body weight decreases.
We recommend trying our Energy & Hydration Electrolyte Powder if you're looking to lose weight. It provides 250mg of caffeine to keep you energized throughout your workout. It's great for cardio, weight-lifting and hiking.
Aid Digestive System
A lack of fasting electrolytes can result in digestive upset - it's a common symptom of an electrolyte deficiency, after all. One of the main reasons for this is tied to the muscle health that pure, unflavoured salts have, as we explored above.
It's the rhythmic contraction of muscles in your digestive tract that aid digestion and 'waste disposal'. Furthermore, chloride plays a role in creating stomach acid to help you break down food efficiently.11
Intermittent extended fasting could also be good for your gut microbiome, although a cup of our Gut Health Tea does the trick too.
Fasting lowers insulin levels, as your body relies on stored fat for energy rather than the food you consume. Taking electrolytes may also impact your risk of diabetes,12 and one study found that sodium fasting salts could improve glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.13 More research is needed, of course.
We highly recommend you talk to your doctor if you are concerned about insulin levels and how fasting and/or electrolytes may impact your metabolism.
The Best Electrolyte Powder for Fasting Is...
Gluten-free with zero additives beyond our vitamin-rich electrolyte ingredients list, our powder packs are perfect for staying healthy and hydrated during a fast.
Mix with plain water (or even sparkling mineral water) to create a low-sugar, fast-friendly drink. Use it to boost your workout, keep your hydration up, or break your fast in spectacular fashion.
Head to ZestTea.com to explore the ingredients, max daily serving recommendations, and more.
Does electrolyte powder break a fast?
Electrolyte supplementation doesn't break a fast if it is sugar-free. Some fasts also allow a small amount of calories per day, usually under 50. Our powder packs, containing essential electrolyte salts, are ideal for keeping your energy up while on an intermittent fast.
Can I drink electrolyte powder while fasting?
Yes! Intermittent fasting which allows a small amount of calories per day is totally compatible with Zest electrolyte powder. Electrolytes, like potassium chloride and magnesium citrate to name a couple, don't break a fast or provide any calories. The small amount of sugar does, however.
What is the best electrolyte for fasting?
During extended fasting, we recommend an electrolyte drink that focuses on sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride. Sodium, in particular, is the most abundant electrolyte that your body needs during a fast to operate healthily.
How do you make electrolyte water for fasting?
To make an electrolyte drink, simply mix your favorite gluten-free Zest electrolyte powder with water. Each tube contains just the right amount of powder for a 16oz bottle of water, with zero additives beyond the nutrients, vitamins, electrolytes, delicious flavors and 7g of cane sugar.
How much electrolyte should I drink when fasting?
At Zest, each electrolyte drink contains 700mg of electrolytes. The exact amount of fasting salts you need during your diet depend on your activity level and metabolism. For example, the FDA recommends consuming no more than 2,300mg of sodium per day and the recommended daily intake of potassium is between 2,600mg and 3,400mg.14
Is magnesium citrate an electrolyte?
Yes, magnesium citrate is an electrolyte and is a good electrolyte to consume on your extended fasting diet. This form of magnesium dissolves easily in water, which may be why it's a popular form to use in electrolyte powders.15
Is it safe to consume potassium chloride?
Yes, potassium chloride is a popular ingredient in electrolyte drink formulas and one of the good fasting salts to consume. It is an electrolyte and is used to treat low potassium levels, hypokalemia, which may be a result of low insulin levels or kidney problems.16
Are there side effects of electrolytes?
Electrolytes can be used to treat digestive upset caused by an electrolyte imbalance, and they may have other health benefits (lowers insulin, promotes muscle health, etc.). However, too many electrolytes can make adverse reactions occur - the specific symptoms you experience depend on which electrolyte you consume too much of. For example, hypermagnesemia could impair breathing and cause muscle weakness, while hypernatremia could make you feel excessively thirsty.17