Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • You look at your favorite sports drink and see that it's got electrolytes!

  • Great, but what exactly are electrolytes?

  • And why do we need them?

  • Electrolytes are ions that carry an electrical charge and travels in and out of cells.

  • The most common types of electrolytes in your body are sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride,

  • and magnesium.

  • One of the key features of electrolytes is triggering an electrical event called action

  • potential.

  • These events are the signals that your brain sends through neurons to parts of the body,

  • like your bicep, to contract muscle.

  • By having sodium and potassium ions traveling in and out of cells, the cells charge switches

  • from negative to positive.

  • It carries this switching process throughout the entire axon of a neuron all the way down

  • to its fingers called axon terminals, which will communicate with other neurons to do

  • the same.

  • Once this switching signal reaches the muscle fiber, the electrolyte calcium ions flood

  • into the muscle fiber and the muscle contracts.

  • As you can see, if you have lower electrolyte concentrations, this can lead to weaker and

  • inefficient muscle contraction.

  • Having a lack of potassium and sodium electrolytes carry other issues as well.

  • Low potassium, which can be caused by excessive alcohol use or constant vomiting, or for some

  • of you, both at the same time, in general can also lead to irregular heartbeat, and

  • in severe cases, cardiac arrest.

  • Low sodium, which can be caused from dehydration, can lead to loss of energy, muscle cramps,

  • and even comas.

  • And electrolytes have other functions as well.

  • Calcium helps with blood clotting and bone density.

  • Chloride usually hangs out with sodium and helps transport water in and out of cells.

  • Magnesium is used to make enzymes function.

  • So those colorful and sugary sports drinks, although aren't the greatest for fluids in

  • terms of calorie intake, might be a better option than water alone after a long workout

  • session.

  • But keep in mind those sports drinks don't have all the electrolytes your body needs.

  • If you're looking for something that does, coconut water not only has all the electrolytes

  • you need, but higher amounts as well.

  • Better get your tropical game going.

  • Ask your health and fitness questions below and please come support PictureFit on Patreon!

  • And don't forget to like and subscribe!

You look at your favorite sports drink and see that it's got electrolytes!

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it