Importance of Electrolytes

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Electrolytes are minerals found in blood and cells. They are positively and negatively charged ions that break into small particles when dissolved in water. They are essential because they regulate body fluids during physical activities.  Imbalance in electrolytes can result to muscle cramps, fatigue nausea, and mental confusion.  The body loses electrolytes through sweat during exercise and other physical activities.

You can lose electrolytes through excessive sweating. Losing electrolytes in high concentration includes losing sodium and chloride. While in low concentration it includes calcium, potassium, & magnesium. To maintain normal blood pressure, sodium and chloride is needed. It is also needed to help support muscle & nerve functions.

Calcium aids in muscle contraction, magnesium aids healthy cell function, potassium and phosphate help regulate energy and pH balance.

Ways to Restore Electrolyte Balance

-Sports drink is one common way to restore the balance of electrolyte.

-Milk.  Milk may also supply electrolytes as long as it has minimal sugar that can add unnecessary calories.

-Salty food.  Eating salty foods is another way of getting back electrolytes.  Losing sodium also results to losing electrolytes. Such other snack may be peanut butter, pickles and tomato juice.

-Other foods include:

  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Beansexcessive-sweating-electrolytes

These foods will get the body on track and restore electrolyte balance.

When we exercise, it’s best to stay hydrated to promote fluid replacement. Electrolytes are important for the human body because it helps maintain proper levels of fluid balance, muscle and neural activities. The longer the electrolytes are depleted, long term risks results such as kidney failure disturbances in heart rhythm and seizures.

Electrolytes work together when the body is at rest or during physical activities to maintain equilibrium of fluid in the body. Electrolyte replacement may depend on factors like gender, weather, intensity of the physical activity and how much do each person sweat.  Drinking water is the basic source of rehydration because the body loses water faster than electrolytes. Intense exercise or physical activities that last an hour or more necessitates electrolyte replacement.

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