What are electrolytes?

 

Electrolytes have gained a lot of popularity in sports drinks and energy drinks, but they’re not just for athletes and runners. Many new moms are also aware of electrolytes in liquid products and frozen treats designed to replenish lost electrolytes from an infant’s illness. What are they and why do we need electrolytes?

geritol-what-are-electrolytes

Electrolytes are simply water soluble minerals that carry an electric charge (most notably potassium and chloride). They are carried by the blood and other bodily fluids and facilitate the maintenance of proper cellular and organ function. The fact that they are water soluble, meaning they dissolve easily in a liquid, makes them an easy additive to beverages wanting to advertise more healthy benefits.

 

Because you lose electrolytes through sweat, and they affect the amount of water in your body and your muscle function, it’s important to replenish them by drinking fluids.

 

In your body, one of potassium’s jobs is to keep nutrients moving in and waste flowing out of your cells. Chloride is more directly related to maintaining your body’s proper balance of body fluids and is an essential part of your digestive juices.

 


 

 

SOURCES:

Electrolytes. MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, From the National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002350.htm February 12, 2013.

Potassium. MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, From the National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/potassium.html February 12, 2013.

Chloride. MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, From the National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002417.htm February 12, 2013.