Electrolytes? What are They? Why Do We Need Them? What Are Their Sources?

Electrolytes are known to be involved in various essential processes in the human body. They have a vital role in many primary processes like muscle contractions, conducting the impulses of the nervous system, regulating the hydration level of your body, and controlling the pH level of your body.

Accordingly, every human being needs a sufficient level of electrolytes to help their body function in the optimum conditions.

In this article, we will talk in detail about electrolytes, what their functions are, and what will happen if a shortage in the amount of the electrolytes takes place inside the human body.

🌸What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are defined as the positive and negative charges or ions resulting from the dissolve of minerals inside a fluid.

These ions or charges are referred to, in nutrition, as the primary minerals that are found in sweat, blood, and urine. Such positive and negative ions are used in metabolism or metabolic processes.

There are various types of electrolytes that are found inside your body, for instance:

  • Sodium
  • Phosphate
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Bicarbonate
  • Magnesium
  • 🌸Electrolytes and Muscle Functions

    Electrolytes, especially calcium, are essential for muscles well-functioning, they help the fibers of the muscle slide over each other as they contract and shorten.  

    Magnesium electrolyte is also important in the outward sliding process as well as muscle relaxation after contraction.

🌸Electrolytes and Hydration  

Sufficient amounts of water inside your body is a must. Electrolytes, especially sodium, work on sustaining the sufficient level of hydration by preventing cell bursting due to over-hydration or dehydration. 

🌸Electrolytes and pH level

Your body is to regulate its pH level to stay healthy. pH is generally defined as how alkaline or acidic a solution is. Inside the human body, the pH level is regulated by what is called chemical buffers, which are weak bases and acids, that work on inhibiting any change that might lead to disequilibrium.

🌸Electrolytes Imbalance and Its Consequences

Any imbalance in the levels of the electrolytes of your body will lead to serious issues in your health. For example, you might experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have severe electrolyte imbalance:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Convulsions
  • Confusion muscle cramping and weakness
  • Tingling and numbness

🌸Sources of Electrolytes

You can find the electrolytes in various types of foods, for instance:

  • Sodium: cheese and pickles
  • Potassium: vegetables and fruits like avocado and bananas
  • Magnesium: nuts and seeds
  • Calcium: milk, dairy, and green vegetables

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