Last Updated on September 7, 2021
What are electrolytes?
Sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium are all electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals; they’re found in blood, tissue, and other body fluids. Electrolytes carry an electric charge. Water alone does not contain proper electrolyte balance, neither do nearly all “electrolyte” beverages that come in a can or bottle.
Electrolytes are essential in carrying out important metabolic function. When you neglect proper hydration and electrolyte balance you’ll develop life-altering symptoms. This post is dedicated to help you understand just how important electrolytes are, how you can spot symptoms, and what to do if you’re suffering from electrolyte imbalance.
What do electrolytes do?
- Regulate fluid levels in your body (and blood)
- Enable muscle contractions, including the beating of your heart
- Transmit nerve signals from heart, muscle and nerve cells to other cells
- Balance the acid/base pH (acid/alkaline) of your blood
- Help blood to clot
- Help build new tissue
- Move waste out of cells
What’s the role of sodium in the body?
Sodium aids in keeping your bodily fluids in a normal balance. Sodium also plays a vital role in helping to maintain and preserve normal nerve and muscle function. Your body needs the proper amount of sodium to maintain normal fluid levels to aid in controlling your body’s blood volume and in turn, blood pressure.
What’s the role of calcium in the body?
In order to maintain strong bones you need adequate calcium. Calcium in the human body is stored in your bones, teeth, blood, muscles, body tissues, and even the fluid between your cells.
- Calcium helps maintain healthy bones and teeth
- Calcium allows blood vessels and muscles to work properly
- Calcium helps to release hormones and enzymes
- Calcium allows your nerves to carry messages
- Calcium helps to regulate: magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
What’s the role of magnesium in the body?
Magnesium plays an important role in cells throughout the body by helping support proper muscle and nerve function, keeping heart rhythm steady, supporting a healthy immune system, regulating blood glucose levels and blood pressure, and helping to maintain normal bone density. (Read: 9 Reasons You Should Supplement Magnesium to get the full story on just how important magnesium truly is)
What’s the role of potassium in the body?
Potassium helps to regulate fluid balance and it plays an essential role in activating nerve impulses throughout the nervous system (helps regulate muscle contractions, heartbeat, reflexes, and more). Potassium almost has a counterbalance to sodium, they work in close correlation. Both are vitally needed.
Is chloride found in sodium?
Considering dietary supplementation or “table salt” consumption: when a person consumes salt (sodium), they’re also getting the proper amount of chloride needed. For example, with the electrolyte blend from Cardnl, the sodium content is 830mg per serving while the chloride is 1320mg. In the salt used for this supplement, the breakdown of sodium and chloride is approximately 40% sodium and 60% chloride.
How does the human body regulate electrolyte balance?
Your kidneys help maintain electrolyte balance by filtering electrolytes and water from blood, returning some to the blood, and excreting any excess into the urine. Your (properly functioning) kidneys help maintain a balance between daily consumption and excretion of electrolytes and water.
How do you know if you aren’t getting enough electrolytes?
If you’re not getting enough electrolytes in your diet, you’ll experience: fatigue, headache, nausea, blood pressure changes, muscle cramps, low energy, and you simply won’t feel right. Most people who deal with chronic issues have no idea that getting the proper amount of electrolytes every day can lead to incredible, positive changes. Those nagging issues you deal with may go away with the simple addition of a daily electrolyte supplement.
19 Symptoms of Low Electrolytes
If you’re suffering from any of these 19 symptoms you may significantly benefit from balancing your electrolytes via high quality supplementation. Your body’s inability to function properly with an electrolyte imbalance will result in mild to severe symptoms ranging from muscle cramping to painful headaches and an inability to think clearly. If you suffer through any of these symptoms, your body is trying to warn you: make a change now! Drinking an electrolyte supplement is one of the easiest (and possibly most life altering) steps you can take to improve health.
- Muscle cramping
- Abdominal cramping
- Regular daily headaches
- Feeling irritable
- Feeling fatigued
- Numbness and Tingling
- Elevated heart rate when at rest
- Lack of Energy & Enthusiam
- Feeling queasy like you need to vomit
- Diarrhea or constipation (irregular bowel movements)
- Weak Muscles (difficultly moving, being active, lifting weights)
- Stiff aching joints
- Irregular heartbeat
- Being confused when you shouldn’t be
- Convulsions or seizures
- Decreased and dark urine output
- Dry mouth and foul breath
- Dry Skin
- Lower than normal perspiration
How do I get enough electrolytes?
Eating micronutrient dense whole foods is a good place to start. However, getting enough electrolytes in your diet on a regular basis via food choices can be VERY difficult (especially with the food choices most people make). The most convenient and reliable way to get enough electrolytes in your diet is supplementation.
What’s the best electrolyte drink?
There are many electrolyte drinks to choose from. I’ve written an entire blog post dedicated to picking the right natural electrolyte drink. When looking for a high quality electrolyte supplement find one that displays clearly EXACTLY how much Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium are included. The drink should taste SALTY, if it doesn’t I can guarantee it’s not going to make much (if any) of an impact. After-all, electrolyte is the medical term for a salt or ion in the blood or other bodily fluid that carries a charge.
Do not consume electrolytes that contain sugar, maltodextrin or other high glycemic ingredients that raise blood sugar.
Why should I avoid sugar filled electrolytes?
Electrolyte levels are influenced by blood glucose levels, especially if you have type 2 diabetes. When you have high blood sugar, water moves outside of the cells and into the body’s extracellular spaces, this mechanism depletes sodium and impacts your body’s optimal electrolyte balance! There’s no reason to consume added sugars. It seems as though most popular brands of electrolyte supplements contain MORE SUGAR than electrolytes by volume. That’s just crazy!
The proper daily electrolyte supplement you should be taking now:
Help manage electrolyte balance and avoid uncomfortable symptoms by supplementing with a zero sugar electrolyte drink with no fillers or unnecessary ingredients.
In 1 serving of Cardnl’s electrolyte blend you get the perfect ratio of essential electrolytes including: 830mg of sodium, 1320mg of chloride, 250mg of potassium, and 240mg of magnesium.
Ingredients: Redmond Salt, Citric Acid, Magnesium Malate, Potassium Chloride, Reb M (stevia leaf)
These are my opinions, please do not take my opinions as personal medical advice. If you’re unsure of your personal situation, please reach out to your personal and trusted medical advisor.