Feeling a bit weak after intense workouts or being dehydrated due to a flu is what having an electrolyte imbalance feels like.
Electrolytes are vital substances for the human body that conduct electricity whenever they are dissolved in water. A balance of electrolytes in the body helps with the body tissues, nerves, & muscle. Too little or too much can be dangerous to the body.
Electrolytes carry positive or negative charges. They are found not only in minerals we consume, but also in our bodily fluids such as blood, urine, sweat, vomit, etc. Once you do any of these things, (sweat, bleed, etc.) you lose electrolytes.
Sodium – Responsible for regulating the level of fluids in the body. Balances blood pressure & volume, pH levels, and the osmotic equilibrium between cells.
Potassium – Most abundantly found in the body. Important for nerve transmission, muscle contractions, & glucose metabolism.
Calcium – Responsible for building and maintaining strong bones & teeth.
Magnesium – This is involved in many metabolic functions that when there is a deficit of this, it can result in various symptoms such as muscle spasms/cramping, headaches, depression, digestive problems, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, convulsion, & mental disorders.
Chloride – Helps regulate & maintain balance of the inside and outside fluids of the body.
Phosphate – It is needed to build bones and teeth, for nerve function and for muscle contraction.
Bicarbonate – Responsible in regulating pH levels in the small intestine.
Having a proper healthy lifestyle and staying hydrated can help you get the right vitamins and minerals, especially electrolyte-rich foods, that your body needs to function well every day.