Why You Need Electrolytes
Why You Need Electrolytes
If you don’t know yet, electrolytes are found virtually in every cell in our bodies. They are responsible for keeping our bodies in normal function. Thus, not having enough of them circulating in our bodies will just do harm. In this short article, you’ll discover why exactly you need electrolytes in your body.
What do electrolytes do?
So you probably know that electrolytes are important. But why exactly are they important? What do these little ions do that make them so vital to our health?
Electrolytes are essentially ions. These are elements that have a particular charge. Thus, they are responsible for conducting electrical charges so our cells can send electrical impulses to one another. To put it short, they help tiny tissues and organs communicate with one another.
Apart from this, electrolytes, especially sodium, help regulate the fluid levels in the body. An excess or deficiency of this electrolyte would dictate our hydration status. Moreover, these electrolytes are responsible for muscle contraction. This does not only include muscles for movement but also other muscles like the heart, and the smooth muscles in our gastrointestinal tract.
What electrolytes do I need?
Your body’s main electrolytes are sodium and potassium. However, there are plenty of electrolytes circulating in your body. This includes chloride, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. You need all of these in certain amounts to maintain normal body function.
What determines my electrolyte levels?
A healthy body has its excellent way of keeping your electrolyte levels in check. If you have too much of an electrolyte, the kidneys will work to flush them down so you can excrete them in your urine. Meanwhile, if you’re lacking a particular electrolyte, the kidneys will do their best to conserve them by keeping its excretion on the low side.
Your kidneys are not the only organs involved in regulating their levels. Your digestive system, particularly your large intestine, is responsible for water and electrolyte reabsorption. Because of this, whenever any of these organs are compromised, your electrolyte levels will typically go crazy, too.
What can I do to make sure my electrolyte levels are fine?
If you’re a perfectly healthy person who eats healthy and drinks enough water, there is no reason to be concerned about your electrolyte levels. However, if you often participate in intense activities that make you sweat in huge amounts, you should consider replenishing your electrolytes by proper hydration.
Moreover, if you’ve recently had an episode of diarrhea or vomiting, it’s also a good time to rehydrate. The best way to rehydrate is to drink electrolyte replacement drinks. They have the right amount of each electrolyte to make sure you’re not doing it too much or too little.
Electrolytes are some of the many things that we simply can’t live without. It is important to replenish electrolytes in our bodies when we are running out. Knowing the consequences of having too little of these electrolytes, we should be more cautious and act quickly when needed.