MILK 'N HONEY HEALTH FOODS

   

                                      NEWSLETTER FOR MARCH AND APRIL                                             

The Importance of Electrolytes

       Electrolytes are minerals that separate and dissolve into ions in a watery solution thus making the solution electrically conductive. An ion is a positively or negatively charged atom or group of atoms. Such atoms become ions when having an unequal number of electrons and protons. If the atom has more electrons than protons, it is a negative ion.  If such atom has more protons than electrons, it is a positive ion.  Ions having the same charge repel each other and ions of the opposite charge attract each other.  When attracting each other they form what are called ionic compounds.

       Electrolytes are the electrically charged form (ionic form) of the minerals sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium and phosphate. These minerals become electrolytes when dissolved in body fluids. They are found in the blood, urine, sweat and other body fluids.  They are used throughout the body to facilitate a variety of tasks.  These electrolytes are critically important to the proper function of the nervous system, muscle contraction and relaxation, maintaining proper pH (acid/alkaline balance) and maintaining proper hydration. 

       Every beat of your heart requires an electrical impulse. Every nerve impulse is dependent on an electrical charge. Electrolytes are involved in most of what goes on in the body. If electrolyte levels are low, this can lead to any number of tissue malfunctions such as muscle cramps or nerve spasms.

       For example, the brain sends electrical signals called nerve impulses that allow cells to communicate with each other.  This activity of nerve impulses is caused by changes in the cell membrane of nerves. These changes are facilitated by movement of the electrolyte sodium across nerve cells.  Ionic calcium allows muscle fibers to contract and ionic magnesium allows them to relax. Magnesium is very important to maintaining proper heart rhythm and nervous system function.  It is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Potassium is the most abundant electrolyte inside cells. It is very important to muscle and nerve function, water balance, pH balance and proper heart rhythm. Chloride is essential for proper digestion along with water and pH balance.

Hydration is critical:

       Since electrolytes are made in body fluids, hydration is critical to proper electrolyte availability. Maintaining good hydration along with a nutritious diet will go a long way toward assuring that you have the necessary level of minerals that can convert to electrolytes. Proper nutrition and hydration is especially important if you work out and play sports. Water containing electrolytes are easily lost through sweat.    

       It is instructive of how critical electrolytes are to the proper function of the body in that the body works very hard to maintain proper electrolyte levels. If the body is deficient in a particular electrolyte, it will attempt to absorb more of the deficient mineral from the digestion of foods and will also “rob” the needed mineral from other body tissues such as the bones.

       Certain medications, especially drugs for treating cancer and diuretics, can interfere with electrolyte balance.  Too much consumption of alcoholic beverages can lead to dehydration. Alcohol acts as a diuretic by suppressing the hormone ADH that is involved in helping the body to retain water and thus retain electrolytes. Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance can include twitching, general weakness, confusion, seizures, numbness, muscle spasms and heart rhythm disturbances.

Getting your electrolytes:

       Drinking enough water every day and eating a nutrient dense diet will ensure that you are getting the minerals necessary to form electrolytes in the body.  While sports drinks such as Gatorade will supply electrolytes, they often supply too much sugar and artificial ingredients as well. For those looking to insure they are getting enough electrolytes, at Milk ‘N Honey we offer electrolyte supplements from the company Trace Mineral Research and from Now Company. 

 

       See our coupons page for a 25% discount coupon on

electrolyte products during March and April.          

See our coupon page for additional product discounts

during March and April