What are Electrolytes and Why Do They Matter?

What are Electrolytes and Why Do They Matter?
February 22, 2018 Dan Crane

Electrolytes can be found in a number of drinks. There is a reason they are often encouraged to ingest while engaging in any physical activity. Electrolytes are chemicals elements or minerals that carry positive or negative charges. They execute so many important function in our bodies that is we were to lose enough electrolytes, we would most likely die. Therefore, electrolytes need to be balanced in our body. If we ingest too much water for example, our kidneys will excrete this from our body in the form of urine and when this happens, you lose important electrolytes. Although water is important, there is a reason there are specific reasons as to why there is a daily recommended intake of it so we don’t become ill or lose important electrolytes.

 

Individuals who abuse laxatives or other diuretics (often in a get thin quick scheme) lose an extremely important amount of electrolytes. This causes our kidneys to expel more urine and this there leads to loss of electrolytes. This is not the way to go when attempting lose weight and can lead to a potassium imbalance.

 

When dieting, it is important to note that there is NO EASY WAY out. You have to put in the time and effort. Maintaining a reasonable intake of electrolytes and water is key to keeping our bodies in balance.

 

We want to outline what the most important electrolytes are and why.

 

Calcium

Calcium is mostly found in our bones and teeth, but it is important to note that the remainder is found in our bodies as ionized calcium which is an electrolyte. It helps regulate cell function, our heartbeat and blood clotting. The recommended daily dose for calcium is between 1000 and 1300 mg per day. You can obtain this source from a daily vitamin, dairy products or even in vegetables.

 

Sodium

Being the most important ion in the fluid outside the cells, sodium helps regulate the volume of liquid inside our cells and helps the volume of plasma in our blood. Sodium is so important, it is absolutely vital to both our nerve and muscle function. It also helps control the acid-base balance in our bodies. When our bodies experience low levels of sodium, we can succumb to seizures and fall into a coma. We could also die due a lack of sodium. The recommended daily dose of sodium is 1.2 to 1.5 grams per day. Excess sodium intake is quite common in society today as a lot of our foods are loaded with sodium to help them have a longer shelf life.

 

Magnesium

Almost all of the magnesium in our bodies are also located in our bones. Only about 1% of magnesium is found in the fluids outside our cells. Because magnesium is one of the most important cofactors in enzyme reactions, if they get really low, it can have dire consequences. The daily recommended dose of sodium is between 310 and 420 mg per day. This is dependent on your age and gender. They can be found in leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, cereals and whole wheat products such as bread and crackers.

 

Potassium

Potassium is incredibly important positively charged ion found in the fluid in our cells. Accompanied with sodium, potassium helps maintain both our acid-base balance and water balance in our bodies. This helps prevent dehydration. Potassium with calcium helps regulate our nerve and muscle activity. If potassium levels are low, it can have severe fatal effects on our heart functions. The daily recommended intake of potassium is at least 4700 mg and can be found in most fruits, vegetable, meat and dairy products.

 

A great way to take in all the nutrients you need throughout the day is our Ketogenic Meal Replacement Shakes! Check them out here!

Dan Crane
Founder of Ultim - passionate about life.

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