What Are Electrolytes?
When dissolved in fluid, salts tend to dissolve and break apart into ions, these create an electrically-conductive solution. Any fluid that conduct electricity, such as the salt water solution described above, is known as an electrolyte solution.
There are 7 Major Electrolytes in the body, each serving it's specific role to keep your body in complete homeostasis (balance). Most of these, are in some part, are responsible for maintaining the homeostasis of your fluids between the intracellular (inside of your cells) and extracellular (outside the your cells) environments. This homeostasis is extremely important for for everything from hydration and nerve impulses to muscle function and your bodies overall pH level.
An electrolyte imbalance, can be quite detrimental to your health. Muscle cramping, muscle weakness, dehydration, misfiring of nerves and over acidity of the body is all controlled and maintained by electrolytes. During everyday life, electrolytes are usually found in our foods but during exercise, when we aren't eating, we need something that will replenish these essential minerals.
Over the next 7 weeks we will be diving head first into each Electrolyte and its function in the body. We believe that a proper knowledge of what these essential minerals do in your body will lead to a better understanding of your body during exercise and everyday life. The 7 Major Electrolytes are:
Week 1. Sodium (Na+)
Week 2. Chloride (Cl-)
Week 3. Potassium (K+)
Week 4. Magnesium (Mg++)
Week 5. Calcium (Ca++)
Week 6. Phosphate (HPO4–)
Week 7. Bicarbonate (HCO3-)
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