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  • Writer's pictureIsabel Kimminau

Water is Essential. But... Do You Know Why Electrolytes Are So Important?

Electrolyte: a substance that conducts electricity when dissolved in water. Many automatic

processes in the body rely on a small electric current to function, and electrolytes provide this charge. Electrolytes interact with each other and the cells in the tissues, nerves, and muscles. A balance of different electrolytes is crucial for the body to function.


Everyone needs Electrolytes to survive. Electrolytes are essential minerals like calcium,

magnesium, sodium, bicarbonate, chloride, phosphate, and potassium which are vital to many key functions of the body! Water alone will not replenish these, which is why it is so important to understand the role electrolytes play!


  • Staying hydrated daily is crucial to help regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly.

  • Staying well-hydrated improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood, but is especially important to sustain physical activity.

  • Staying hydrated during physical activity is crucial. When you are active, your body sweats as it tries to return to its optimal temperature. Drinking water during activity replaces the fluids lost to keep your body performing at its best, but water is not the only thing lost during activity. When your body sweats, you are losing more than just water. Valuable electrolytes are also lost when you sweat!

  • A rapid loss of fluids, such as after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting, can also affect the concentration of electrolytes. In these types of situations, the balance of electrolytes in the body needs to be restored.


When levels of an electrolyte are too low, it is important to have foods and drinks that contain considerable amounts of that electrolyte. Here are some options:

  • Calcium – yogurt, milk, ricotta, collard greens, kale, sardines

  • Potassium – banana, potatoes with skin, and plain yogurt

  • Sodium – table salt, dill pickles, tomato juices, soups, and sauces

  • Magnesium – spinach, halibut, and pumpkin seeds

  • Chloride – table salt, olives, tomato juices, soups and sauces, lettuce


Supplements are also an option for managing low levels of an electrolyte. For example, older adults often do not consume enough potassium, and treatments with corticosteroids or diuretic medications can also reduce these levels. In this case, potassium tablets can boost the concentration in the blood.


Some sports drinks, gels, and candies can restore levels of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium during and after exercise. They can also help the body retain water. However, these products sometimes contain high levels of sugar and or high electrolyte contents, and consuming too much can lead to excess.


It is important to carefully follow any treatment or supplementation plan that a health

professional recommends.



~Everything in Life is About Balance~


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