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What exactly is an electrolyte?

We all know that when we partake in any event that causes us to sweat we loose minerals and need to replenish them. The same conversation happens when we get sick and throw up or have diarrhea. We have been told to consume certain drinks etc. to make this happen. But what exactly are we replenishing?

Our bodies need to be replenished with electrolytes. So, the next question is, “what is an electrolyte?”

Simply stated electrolytes are minerals or chemical compounds that create electrically charged ions when dissolved in fluids. They keep our tissue, cells and fluids communicating with the rest of our body and are essential for our bodies to function. Many bodily functions depend on electrolytes such as muscle contractions and nerve impulse transmissions. In addition electrolytes affect the acidity of your blood (PH).

The electrolytes in the human body are:

  • sodium.
  • potassium.
  • calcium.
  • bicarbonate.
  • magnesium.
  • chloride.
  • phosphate.

Reasons to replenish with electrolyte supplements:

  • young children who are sick and loose fluids
  • athletes who are sweating for longer than an hour
  • adults who may not consume enough water
  • patients recovering from chemotherapy treatment

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