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Last updated July 16, 2023

Using Electrolyte Drinks for Migraines

Can you use electrolytes to help aleviate or prevent headaches?

I’ve struggled with migraine attacks for almost 20 years so I’ve had a lot of time to experiment with electrolytes. Once I realized that electrolytes can help headaches and migraines, I felt I had more control over my head pain and how I could prevent it.

Using Electrolytes to Help Headaches 

From my personal experience, I’ve had great success drinking electrolytes daily. It’s helped me tremendously to stabilize my low blood pressure, and dizzy spells, and put off headaches, even cluster headaches.

In fact, I don’t drink any water without electrolytes in it anymore. I can’t risk electrolyte imbalance. That may seem extreme but my migraines were severe.

My migraines started in my neck and back of my eyes. I would get a full feeling, blurry vision, mood changes, and almost feel feverish. My head pain would last a day or two. Having my blood vessels dilated left me with nerve pain that was hard to get rid of after the initial headache left.

Common Symptoms of Migraines include:

  • Neck pain
  • Pain on one side of the head or face
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
  • Mood changes
  • Fluid retention
  • Nerve pain on side of the head

I had tried so many supplements and even prescription medications to control my migraines. Although I haven’t gotten rid of my migraines completely, the electrolytes have helped tremendously.

Keep Your Electrolytes In Balance

There are many studies to show a fluctuation in potassium can be a migraine trigger. Salt and potassium hang in a delicate balance and it’s essential to have enough of each.

It can be hard to get enough water during a busy day and if your electrolytes are out of balance, more water may not help. I was drinking almost a gallon day and it wasn’t helping because it didn’t contain the electrolytes my body needed. In fact, it could have been too much water.

Even 8 glasses of water a day won’t help if your salt and potassium are out of balance.

Salt Isn’t the Bad Guy

I feel like salt gets a bad rap, being blamed for high blood pressure but really salt is essential especially if you do a lot of physical activity.

It’s imperative that you have enough salt in your blood to survive. Having low sodium leads to dehydration because you can’t hold onto the water you are drinking.

It’s common for people who get migraines to struggle with low blood pressure. Again, sodium and potassium can help stabilize blood pressure which helps to prevent migraines. 

The Right Sodium-Potassium Ratio

So many people are chronically dehydrated and out of balance in their sodium-potassium ratio.

I’d highly recommend picking up The Salt Fix by Dr. James Dinicolantonio.  His research on using salt to help repair the body is mind-blowing. Salt keeps your body in homeostasis.

He recommends up to 3 or 4 thousand milligrams of real salt a day. Salt helps you use the water you have in your body.

I love to follow his social media sites, he has such good information on how salt is used in our bodies and how important it is. He even covers the issues of high blood pressure and salt and how vital salt is for your heart.

I’ve seen so many improvements since I stabilized my salt and potassium.

There is a trick you can do, put a pinch of salt under your tongue when you are feeling a headache coming on, brain fog, or just fatigue and see if it helps. It could be a clue you are needing some salt.

What kind of salt should you use? Redmond Real Salt is recommended because it’s in its natural form.

We’ve switched to using this salt which is mined right here in the United States in Utah.

How to Pick Electrolytes to Your Headaches

There are definitely some junk sports drinks on the market so I wouldn’t go grabbing just anything. If all you have available is a Gatorade, it will do but for everyday use, it’s way too much sugar.

Some of the brands are loaded with so much sugar it might as well be soda. A little sugar in your electrolyte drink can help your body hold onto water better, but just a little. 

For most people who are insulin resistant or diabetic sugar is an absolute no in my opinion. Especially for those who need to stay in ketosis.

How to Check Electrolyte Ingredients?

I check electrolyte brands for simple clean ingredients such as potassium citrate, sodium, vitamin C, vitamin b6, and magnesium. At a minimum, you need sodium and potassium, and magnesium.

Some brands have a bit of citrus and stevia but the ingredient list needs to be small and clean. No dyes, artificial flavorings, and preservatives.

Using electrolytes to help headaches, I highly recommend LiquidIV brand. It helps to clear my brain fog, balance my blood pressure, prevent migraines and give me more energy. 

It really is similar to an intravenous fluid that you would get at the emergency room if you went in for a migraine.

I drink 1 packet a day, but don’t drink it all at once. I sip on it throughout the day in my water bottle.

Sometimes I also add extra salt to my food during meals and I’ve even been known to just make some salt water and drink it straight.

If you can’t have any sugar at all I recommend Nuun Sport brand or LMNT Keto Electrolytes. Both of these brands contain no sugar and are good choices for those who have high blood sugar levels or insulin resistance. 

Nuun Sport has a bit of carbonation or fizz quality which I didn’t care for but lots of people like fizz in their flavored water. They do have a lot of yummy flavors, I just don’t personally care for the slight fizz.

I’ve found drinking electrolytes to be a safe and easy way to prevent migraine headaches. They have also significantly improved my brain fog and fatigue throughout the day.

It doesn’t cost much, it’s not invasive, and it prevents dehydration. I take my electrolytes everywhere with me in my water bottle and it’s been a simple migraine hack that’s changed my life.

Blackened Chicken (Paleo, Whole-30, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

Spicy Whole30 Cucumber Salad (Gluten & Dairy Free + Paleo option)

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