CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – When the human body perspires on hot days like the ones western Massachusetts has been experiencing, you are not only losing water, you are losing important nutrients as well.

With record temperatures this week, we’ve all been doing a lot of sweating. Although sweat is the body’s natural way of cooling itself down, we do lose a lot of nutrients during the process. Some of the major nutrients your body loses through perspiration are sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

Doctors at Baystate say that many of the people who are treated for heat-related illnesses have low levels of salt, or sodium chloride in their bodies. One of the best ways to replenish the salt and electrolytes you lose is through sports or specialty rehydration drinks. But, you really don’t have to spend money on these drinks.

Dr. Brian P. Sutton the Medical Director at Baystate Health Urgent Care told 22News, “You can make this at home, too. If you are just going out in the backyard, you can take a liter bottle of water, add two tablespoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of salt, and then you’ll have your own, homemade oral rehydration formula and that works just as well.”

Another strategy to refuel is to eat foods rich in magnesium on hot days, foods like nuts and seeds. You can combat the loss of potassium with bananas and citrus fruits.

Agawam resident Brenda Santinello has the right idea on how to replenish nutrients. “Drink a gallon of water, eat watermelon, veggies, fruit,” she said.

Phil Semyanko of Granby, Connecticut and father of two shares his tips on keeping your children nourished in the heat, “Typically we like to stay in the shade, you know, stay out of the sun as much as possible. Other than that, just drink a lot of water. Kids love apple juice and I typically dilute it with water.”

If you have been exerting yourself outdoor and perspiring a lot, remember to watch for signs of sodium loss in your body. Those symptoms include muscle cramps, headaches and fatigue, and if you find yourself experiencing heat exhaustion get inside immediately. Try to cool off, drink water, rest and restore any lost nutrients. If you don’t start feeling better in an hour it may be time to seek medical attention.