Electrolytes: what are they and why do you need them?

We’ve seen the advertising; we know that electrolytes are a thing and maybe they’re an important thing, however, I’m sure that there are plenty of us out there who are still thinking ‘yeah but what the heck are they and why do I need them?’

If you are one of those people, keep on reading!

So what is an electrolyte?

Simply put, Electrolytes are minerals that have an electric charge. They can be found in blood, urine, tissues and other bodily fluids. [1] Common electrolytes include sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride and magnesium [1].

Yeah that’s great… but what do electrolytes do?

Electrolytes are important to help balance the amount of water in your body and help maintain your body’s pH balance [1]. This balance helps to ensure that your bodily organs can work efficiently. [1,2]

Why are they important?

The levels of electrolytes in your body can become too low or too high due to the amount of water in your body. [1] These imbalances can lead to dehydration.

Dehydration is usually caused by not drinking a sufficient amount of water to replace what you’ve lost. It can also be caused by other factors such as climate, physical exercise and diet.

For all you fitness buffs out there, take note - physical exercise causes sweating which can not only result in a loss of water but also electrolytes. [3,4]

Can I get them naturally?

The good news is, yes! You can get them from a variety of foods as well as fluids.

If you’re struggling though, VÖOST Hydrate contains a combination of electrolytes which are added to water (as per directions for use). The product’s combination with water helps support water and electrolyte balance after dehydration*.

*Not for dehydration caused by diarrhoea.

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. ADULTS ONLY. VITAMIN AND MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD NOT REPLACE A BALANCED DIET. NOT FOR DEHYDRATION CAUSED BY DIARRHOEA.

[1] Fluid and electrolyte balance, US National Library of Medicine, viewed 25 March 2020, https://medlineplus.gov/fluidandelectrolytebalance.html

[2] Roumelioti ME, Glew RH, Khitan ZJ, et al. Fluid balance concepts in medicine: Principles and practice. World J Nephrol. 2018;7(1):1–28.

[3] Sawka MN, Burke LM, Eichner R, Maughan RJ, Montain SJ, Stachenfeld NS. Exercise and fluid replacement. Medscape 2007, Feb 01.

[4] Maughan RJ. Fluid and electrolyte loss and replacement in exercise. J Sports Sci 1991; 9: 117-142.