by Dr. David Minkoff July 01, 2020 5 min read
You know that the cardiovascular system is responsible for pumping blood and oxygen throughout your system, right? And that the endocrine system manages hormones? And that your nervous system relays messages throughout your body?
Well, underlying all these systems is an astoundingly complex electrical system.
This electrical system is busy sending an almost uncountable number of messages to the muscles, bones, brain, and the cells. The human brain is the home to approximately 100 billion neurons, each firing about 200 times every second.
The number of messages is so massive it is hard to fit on the page: 20,000,000,000,000,000 bits of data are transmitted each second. When your body’s electrical system breaks down, it brings on a wide range of unexplained symptoms. But what is the secret that keeps this incredible electrical system firing at peak performance?
The answer is electrolytes.
Electrolytes, in simple terms, are a set of conductive minerals that are essential in ensuring your body’s electrical system functions as it should. These minerals carry electrical charges (both positive and negative) and are involved in hundreds of basic cellular functions. Without electrolytes, your muscles could not contract (including your heart), your respiratory system would not work, and eventually, your body would shut down, system by system. It stands to reason that keeping your body well supplied with these vital minerals is a critical part of maintaining your health!
In practice, we see electrolyte deficiencies showing up in the form of:
Read on to find out how, why, and ways you can optimize your health with this information.
When we talk about electricity, we are talking about positive charges, negative charges, and the energy created by the attraction between them. Before we dive in on this, let us first clarify some terms.
In your body, the electrical system primarily exists in the fluid surrounding your cells (also known as extracellular fluid) and within the cells themselves. Each cell contains both cations and anions, but in varying quantities, and unevenly balanced. The disparity between the charge inside of a cell and the charge of the extracellular fluid is what creates the potential difference, thereby facilitating movement and action.
One of the best examples of how your body’s electrical system works is in cellular hydration. Water moves through the membrane of your cells through osmosis, and this can only happen when there is a proper differential between the osmotic pressure of the water inside and outside of the cellular membrane.
Sodium, one of the most common electrolytes found in table salt (sodium chloride), is a mineral that electrically adjusts the osmotic pressure of the water in your body and enables cellular hydration to take place.
Simply put, without sodium, your cells would be unable to absorb moisture – regardless of how much water you drink.
Beyond cellular hydration, the basic principle of electrical charges between and around cells facilitates hundreds of biological functions in the body.
One of the most significant functions is the facilitating of nerve impulses firing throughout your body, and specifically to your muscles. Without these charged electrolytes balanced in your system along with sufficient water, nerve impulses can’t make it to their ultimate destination, and you will suffer from cramping, weakness, and lack of coordination.
Some further functions of electrolytes include:
Until the rise of industrialized foods, the human diet consisted primarily of natural, organic, and mineral-rich foods and liquids. This constant intake of naturally occurring electrolytes is what kept the body healthy and balanced.
In modern times, this is not so much the case. Both food and water have a much lower concentration of minerals due to processing, and most people are deficient in their vegetable intake (one of the top sources of minerals).
Your body loses electrolytes through sweating, urinating, and any other form of fluid loss. Athletes and those who live in warmer climates lose considerable quantities of electrolytes, and research has continued to demonstrate that supplementing your electrolyte intake can have a dramatic impact on performance. Some of the most enjoyable benefits of balanced electrolytes and hydration include:
When you think of electrolytes, you probably get a picture of Gatorade, Powerade, or any of the other brightly colored sports drinks available at your local grocery mart. And while these may be good for an electrolyte boost, they also contain massive quantities of sugar and carbs. So, unless you are an endurance athlete, we always recommend staying away from these drinks.
A great way to replenish your electrolytes is, of course, naturally. There are recipes online that teach you how to create your own using salt (which is, of course, made up of sodium and chloride – two key electrolytes), coconut water, and other ingredients.
Or keep reading for an even easier and more efficient way!
According to modern research, taking electrolytes along with the eight essential amino acids (EAAs) can enhance cellular hydration beyond what can be accomplished with electrolytes alone.
In fact, one study compared men and women drinking three types of electrolyte drinks: electrolytes + carbs, electrolytes + amino acids, and electrolytes by themselves. The results of the study indicated that those who had the electrolytes + amino acids retained a hydrated state for a longer time. What does this mean in reality? It means that an electrolyte drink fortified with amino acids not only provides the added benefit of protein, but also works synergistically to improve overall hydration and performance.
BodyHealth’s PerfectAmino Electrolytes is doctor-formulated for optimal hydration. Not only do you get the ideal blend of electrolytes to help your body’s electrical system function at its best, but you also get perfect amino for enhanced hydration and stamina. You may be shocked at the resurgence of energy and focus you recover with the help of this delicious formula!
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by Dr. David Minkoff
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