So, what the heck are Electrolytes?

by Jennifer W. November 17, 2015

So, what the heck are Electrolytes?

You've heard of them, who hasn't? Lately, the term Electrolyte has almost become more popular than the flood of selfies featuring derrières and duck-faces across social media. Note, we said almost.

They're a common go-to for post workout recovery. Often taken as a morning after solution among waves of self-contempt and nausea. They're especially used to help restore the body when experiencing flu-like symptoms for adults and children.

But, a lot of people still don't know what electrolytes actually do when they're taking them.

Just in case you're one of the many, or have managed to squeak by without hearing the term, here's a quick look at what you need to know:

Salt, salt and more salt.

Electrolytes are a fancy word for the essential salts that are needed for your body- just not limited to the kind sitting on your kitchen table. Your body is a complex balance of these various 'salts' and supplements working together to maintain optimal body function:

    • Sodium
    • Potassium
    • Chloride
    • Calcium
    • Bicarbonate
    • Magnesium
    • Phosphate

Ok great, all the periodic table terms you'd happily forgotten since Chemistry class are now flooding back.

So, what does it all do?

Electrolytes are the charge within your cells that your bodies heart, nerves and muscles use to carry impulses from one cell to another (think electricity). Without being properly charged (with electricity), these cells and organs cannot function properly.

In fact, "a lack of electrolytes can lead to slowed physical activity and brain function or muscle cramping, and may result in more significant side affects such as Heart Arrhythmia and in very severe cases, death".  -A. Watson, R.N. & Mother 

For example, a lamp can only power on when plugged into an energy source...unless solar powered (but to-date, humans do not run off solar energy). Electrolytes represent this same energy source between cells, regulating water and other fluids, pH levels, muscle contractions, as well as energy production. 

Put simply, electrolytes paired with water, are imperative for basic body functions. Easy enough, right?

When do you need to take electrolytes?

Electrolyte replacement is essential when you or a family member, including children, are sick. Prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, or severe heat stroke can drain the body of necessary fluids, and electrolytes. We all know how awful that feels!

The same goes after a workout, or late night out on the town. The body loses large amounts of water and electrolytes, which in turn need to be replenished in order to maximize the effects of your workout, or to recover from a hefty hangover. 

It's all about maintenance. 

There's a new electrolyte on the block

With that said, the last thing on your mind when it feels like you're reminiscing with everything you've ever eaten since last Thanksgiving, is choking down litres of fluid. Not to mentioned, sports drinks and electrolyte rehydration juices are packed full of unnecessary sugars. 

For those looking for an alternative to the electrolyte replacements you've previously seen, check out Solves Strips®

Solves Strips® are easy to take strips that can be placed on the tongue or cheek. Each strip dissolves in seconds and tastes great. Not to mention, they're portable. Learn more >>

 

 

Questions or comments? We'd love to hear from you. Contact the Solves Service Team

Disclaimer: Solves Strips® website, blog and social media sites contain articles on many medical topics; however, no warranty whatsoever is made that any of the articles are accurate. Solves Strips® is not a doctor, the medical information provided is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional.




Jennifer W.
Jennifer W.

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