Quick Electrolyte Post

Today I would like to focus on electrolytes.  Electrolytes with regards to human nutrition are generally salts, acids, or bases that contain a free ion making the specific chemical electrically conductive.  In humans, the important electrolytes are Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, hydrogen phosphate, and hydrogen carbonate.  Electrolytic balance in the body is responsible for many health related conditions.  Everything from hydration, to ph level, to nerve function, to muscle contraction all depend on the correct electrolytes being present at the correct levels.  when people talk about electrolytes they usually think of sodium and potassium.  And yes, these two ionic compounds are of the more common type to be out of balance in the body.  When one has an imbalance of these two chemicals, things such as dehydration, confusion, muscle spasms, and nausea can occur.  Prolonged imbalances can result in severe medical conditions and even death.  When in balance (called homeostasis) electrolytes keep water at the right levels in cells and allow the transmission of electrical signals between nerves which result in proper motor function.

Your kidneys are the main way your body keeps electrolytes in balance.  when we sweat, part of the liquid being expelled has electrolytes in it, which is a main reason why you must not only hydrate when we exercise for prolong periods, but also make sure that the liquids we ingest at that time has electrolytes in it.  Other than exercise, when we are sick and we exhibit extended bouts of diarrhea and/or vomiting, we can lose electrolytes, it is important to replenish the supply as soon as you can in order to keep your body strong enough to fight the sickness and regain health.

When you are outside exercising or working in the sun for long periods, make sure to drink something with salts or acids and bases in it such as magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium to replenish your electrolytic balance.  If you find yourself developing a headache, dizziness, or sluggish reaction time, it’s time to stop, find some shade, drink some liquid (with electrolytes in it) and give yourself a nice long recovery period before continuing with activity.




About banks1850

I'm a regular guy, very happily married, I have no kids, 1 dog (ok he's sort of a kid), love sports (playing and watching), and enjoy helping others. I'm an ACE certified personal trainer since early 2010 and I focus on impact athletics performance training and also beginner development for both nutrition and exercise. I'm a bit of a nerd, as such I love to read about health and wellness and much of my nutrition and biological knowledge comes from college and advanced text.

Posted on July 26, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. kelly lafountain

    Great reminder! I know someone who was on the back of a motorcycle drinking lots of water but she still got dehydrated. Lesson learned but it could have had dangerous consequences if she would have passed out. We always say Hydration is the key!

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