Hydration - June 2021

How to Prevent an Electrolyte Imbalance


Fluids in your body

Athletes have been swigging electrolyte replenishers since 1965. That was the year a Florida Gators coach asked doctors why his players were wilting so quickly in the heat. Their answer? The players were losing too many electrolytes. Their solution was to invent Gatorade. So, what are electrolytes and why are they important?

Water and electrolytes are essential to your health. At birth, your body is about 75 to 80 percent water. By the time you’re an adult, the percentage of water in your body drops to approximately 60 percent if you’re male and 55 percent if you’re female. The volume of water in your body will continue to decrease as you age.

Fluid in your body contains things such as cells, proteins, glucose, and electrolytes. Electrolytes come from the food and liquids you consume. Salt, potassium, calcium, and chloride are examples of electrolytes.

Electricity and your body

Electrolytes take on a positive or negative charge when they dissolve in your body fluid. This enables them to conduct electricity and move electrical charges or signals throughout your body. These charges are crucial to many functions that keep you alive, including the operation of your brain, nerves, and muscles, and the creation of new tissue.

Each electrolyte plays a specific role in your body. The following are some of the most important electrolytes and their primary functions:


  • helps control fluids in the body, impacting blood pressure
  • necessary for muscle and nerve function


  • helps balance electrolytes
  • balances acidity and alkalinity, which helps maintain a healthy pH
  • essential to digestion


  • regulates your heart and blood pressure
  • helps balance electrolytes
  • aids in transmitting nerve impulses
  • contributes to bone health
  • necessary for muscle contraction


    important to the production of DNA and RNA
  • contributes to nerve and muscle function
  • helps maintain heart rhythm
  • helps regulate blood glucose levels
  • enhances your immune system


  • key component of bones and teeth
  • important to the movement of nerve impulses and muscle movement
  • contributes to blood clotting


  • strengthens bones and teeth
  • helps cells produce the energy needed for tissue growth and repair


  • helps your body maintain a healthy pH
  • regulates heart function