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Electrolytes

What are Electrolytes?

Medical News Today describes electrolytes as “a substance that conducts electricity when dissolved in water. They are essential for a number of bodily functions.” Muscles and neurons rely on the movement of electrolytes to send signals inside, outside, and even in between cells. The most prominent electrolytes within the body include, Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, as well as others. As you age, you become more susceptible to an electrolyte imbalance within the body, leading to numerous health issues. [1]

Potassium and Sodium are electrolytes that are commonly used as a hangover aid:Potassium: Alcohol causes the body to urinate more than it typically would, resulting in potassium excretion. Your body and heart need potassium to function properly, thus when your hangover drains your body of much of its potassium storage, it can become difficult to function properly. [2]

Sea-Salt (Sodium): In the same way, Sodium is also excreted from the bloodstream during urination. Oftentimes, “hangover cure” drinks will be packed with sodium because of how quickly it can rehydrate your body. [3]

What are the Health Benefits of Electrolytes?

Supplementing electrolytes into your diet is necessary for nearly all bodily functions; therefore, analyzing the health risks of having an electrolyte imbalance would be effective to determine the health benefits of electrolytes. Some symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance include an irregular heartbeat, weakness, bone disorders, changes in blood pressure, as well as many others. Oftentimes the kidneys are able to flush out excess levels of electrolytes if there is too much in the bloodstream. However, if not enough electrolytes are in the bloodstream, there is no simple way for the body to fix it. [4]

Because alcohol is a diuretic, it causes the body to urinate more than it typically would. As a result, electrolytes within the body are lost. Additionally, alcohol naturally kills electrolytes, thus the combination of the two can lead to immense dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Therefore supplementing electrolytes into your drinking habits can help prevent or alleviate a crippling hangover before it even occurs. [5]

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