What are electrolytes?
Well, besides being What Plants Crave… electrolytes are part of the carefully balanced system that is the human body.
Any of certain inorganic compounds, mainly sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, and bicarbonate, that dissociate in biological fluids into ions capable of conducting electrical currents and constituting a major force in controlling fluid balance within the body.
A somewhat technical explanation
When combined with chloride, the resulting substance is table salt.
Excess sodium (such as that obtained from dietary sources) is excreted in the urine.
Sodium regulates the total amount of water in the body and the transmission of sodium into and out of individual cells also plays a role in critical body functions. Many processes in the body, especially in the brain, nervous system, and muscles, require electrical signals for communication. The movement of sodium is critical in the generation of these electrical signals.
Therefore, too much or too little sodium can cause cells to malfunction, and extremes in the blood sodium levels (too much or too little) can be fatal.
Increased sodium (hypernatremia) in the blood occurs whenever there is excess sodium in relation to water.
There are numerous causes of hypernatremia; these may include kidney disease, too little water intake, and loss of water due to diarrhea and/or vomiting.
A decreased concentration of sodium (hyponatremia) occurs whenever there is a relative increase in the amount of body water relative to sodium. This happens with some diseases of the liver and kidney, in patients with congestive heart failure, in burn victims, and in numerous other conditions.
The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function.
Among the many functions of potassium in the body are regulation of the heartbeat and the function of the muscles.
A seriously abnormal increase in potassium (hyperkalemia) or decrease in potassium (hypokalemia) can profoundly affect the nervous system and increases the chance of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), which, when extreme, can be fatal.
Increased potassium is known as hyperkalemia. Potassium is normally excreted by the kidneys, so disorders that decrease the function of the kidneys can result in hyperkalemia. Certain medications may also predispose an individual to hyperkalemia.
Hypokalemia, or decreased potassium, can arise due to kidney diseases; excessive losses due to heavy sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, eating disorders, certain medications, or other causes.
An anion is the negatively charged part of certain substances such as table salt (sodium chloride or NaCl) when dissolved in liquid. Chloride plays a role in helping the body maintain a normal balance of fluids.
The balance of chloride ion (Cl-) is closely regulated by the body.
Significant increases or decreases in chloride can have deleterious or even fatal consequences:
Increased chloride (hyperchloremia):
Elevations in chloride may be seen in diarrhea, certain kidney diseases, and sometimes in overactivity of the parathyroid glands.
Decreased chloride (hypochloremia):
Chloride is normally lost in the urine, sweat, and stomach secretions. Excessive loss can occur from heavy sweating, vomiting, and adrenal gland and kidney disease.
Medical definitions provided by Medicinenet.com
A somewhat layman’s explanation
Think of your body like your car.
If you’re caring for it properly you will fill it with gas when it needs it, change the oil when recommended, replace the brakes when they start squeaking and get your transmission, steering and brake fluids changes every couple thousand miles.
Well imagine if you needed to do all that not weekly/monthly/yearly, but all of it daily.
That’s sort of what replenishing your electrolytes are like.
Simply by drinking water and eating a balanced meal your body will keep everything in good measure by itself.
But severe dehydration, deficits in your diet or following completely incorrect information can lead to gaps in your bodily maintenance.
So instead of filling your car with gas when the light comes on you just keep on driving…. how will that work out in the end?
Without the proper application of electrolytes you can suffer all sorts of health issues from basic nausea and vomiting to… well death.
So in Ketoing like a boss it’s important to remember with our increase water intake comes great responsibility; to ensure we’re replenishing the electrolytes we’re washing away.
There are lots of options for this:
- Using Morton’s Lite Salt on your food.
- Powerade Zero also available in Drops to add in water.
- NUUN Products
- Coconut Water
- Electromix (by Emergen-C)
To name a few, I will hopefully be able to do some reviews for you guys soon, let me know what you want to see!