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What Are Electrolytes?

What are electrolytes and how do I know whether or not I’m getting enough of them?

When most people hear electrolytes, they immediately think of sports drinks and tablets used by athletes. If we’re exercising and sweating, we should be replenishing electrolytes as we go, right? The reality is, most of us aren’t sweating quite enough to call for additional replenishment.

So if we don’t need to consume electrolytes in the form of supplements for exercise, when and how should we consume them?

Here we’ll discuss what the major electrolytes are, why they are so important, where we can get them in our diet and how much we really need. You’ll be surprised to find out that you’re unintentionally taking in more electrolytes than you think!

What Are Electrolytes Responsible For?

Electrolytes are minerals that are essential for humans. In order for our bodies to function properly on a daily basis, adequate electrolyte consumption is required. Therefore, even when we aren’t exercising, we still need to make sure we’re getting enough electrolytes.

Electrolytes are responsible for:

Conducting electricity throughout the body – think muscle contraction like the beating of your heart Regulating fluid levels (such as your blood) Nerve cell communication to other cells Aiding the process of blood clotting and tissue repair Regulating the blood’s pH The release of hormones

As you can see, electrolytes are responsible for some pretty important tasks. So what are these electrolytes and how do they perform these tasks?

The Major Electrolytes Sodium

Sodium

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