What Are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals, like potassium, magnesium, and sodium, that conduct electricity when dissolved in water. They are present in the blood, tissues, and other bodily fluids, and are critical in many physiological functions, like blood pressure regulation, nerve and muscle health, and hydration.
It’s crucial that we maintain a balance in our electrolyte levels. Having too much or too little may lead to serious repercussions. For instance, too much sodium can raise our blood pressure. Too little potassium may result in muscle weakness, cramps, and even abnormal heart rhythms.
When Is It Beneficial To Drink an Electrolyte Beverage?
We naturally lose electrolytes when we sweat. That’s why companies often advertise their sports drink products using images of people working out. However, there are other occasions when imbalances in these critical minerals happen. Examples of these occasions include:
- Having ailments that result in vomiting or diarrhea
- Having kidney or liver problems
- Taking medicines, like laxatives or diuretics
- Having eating disorders
- Not drinking or eating enough
On occasions when we lose electrolytes, is it beneficial to drink an electrolyte beverage?