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What Does an Electrolyte Do?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/24/2021

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We know electrolytes are important, but what do they actually do? Find out. 


0:00 Electrolytes 

0:10 What do electrolytes do? 

4:30 Bulletproof your immune system *free course 

Today I want to cover what electrolytes do, with a special focus on five specific electrolytes. 

1. Sodium:

• Hydrates 

• Is involved in oxygen transport 

• Works with potassium to generate electrical potential (the sodium-potassium pump) 

• Decreased sodium can lead to weakness, tiredness, and low endurance 

2. Potassium:

• Supports the nerve and muscle interaction 

• Works with sodium to generate electrical potential (the sodium-potassium pump) 

• Decreased potassium can lead to weakness and tiredness

3. Magnesium:

• Controls the absorption of sodium and potassium 

• Is associated with oxygen 

• Supports the relaxation of the muscle 

• May help prevent muscle cramps 

• May be necessary for workouts (especially long or intense workouts)

• Decreased magnesium may lead to muscle cramps and low endurance  

4. Calcium:

• Supports muscle contraction 

• Supports neuromuscular excitability 

• Decreased calcium can lead to tetany, muscle cramps, and skeletal muscle weakness 

5. Chloride: 

• Supports hydration

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