If you've watched any kind of sportsball broadcast in the past several years, you've no doubt seen commercials for sports drinks that are chock full of electrolytes, which your body needs to work at optimum physical levels.

So what, exactly, are electrolytes? They are minerals in your blood, including calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium, that carry an electrical charge – if you remember your high school chemistry, they occur naturally as ions, and carry a positive or a negative charge. Electrolytes are critical for muscle function, especially potassium, sodium, and calcium; without sufficient amounts in the body, muscle weakness and severe muscle contractions (cramps) may occur. Electrolytes are also critical for maintaining your blood pH, maintaining cell wall integrity, and the amount of water in your body.

We lose electrolytes when we exercise as we get dehydrated, in fact, as your body starts to get low on electrolytes, that's what triggers the thirst mech...

Read More