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Electrolytes truly are the “Spark of life” as described in the book, "Electrolytes, the Spark of Life," by Gillian Martlew. While many of the known elements can be classified as electrolytes, there are 5 elements recognized around the world as essential for maintaining a properly functioning electrical circuit within our body.
The electrical system encompasses our heart, brain, and nervous system. As such, it is absolutely essential that our cells be replete with these elements. Electrolytes carry electrical impulses from your brain to every part of your body to keep it in healthy balance.
There are numerous ways we can become out of balance with these elements in everyday life. We lose electrolytes predominately through sweating when we do strenuous exercise. If their loss is not compensated for relatively quickly, the ability to continue with the exercise will become difficult or impossible and can have fatal consequences since electrolytes are crucial for healthy heart function.
Not just extreme athletes need electrolytes; even yard work, or taking a sauna that creates profuse sweating indicates a need for electrolyte replacement. Additionally, we may become deficient in these essential minerals by high levels of physical or emotional stress. Emotional stressors can come from worry, abuse, fear, and other factors all of which require minerals to maintain our defenses. In both instances, experiencing chronic emotional stress or excessive physical exertion utilizes and excretes one or many of our essential electrolyte minerals.
If the body suffers a severe physical trauma, electrolytes are one of the first courses of actions implemented (by trained medical teams), usually in an IV solution. The objective of this procedure is to keep the individual’s electrical system functioning so that the heart continues to beat rhythmically. This is accomplished by supplying the needed electrolytes to the injured persons blood stream.
Not only do we lose or use up a lot of essential electrolytes on a day- to -day basis as noted above, but those who take prescription medications such as diuretics are at increased risk of depleting electrolytes.
Obtaining the needed minerals via the food we eat is a chronic problem today. This is primarily due to our deficient soils and over processing and over cooking of our foods. Drinking ultra purified water can also strip our body of these elements as well as other essential minerals. It is important to be aware of the fact that reverse osmosis and distilled water will actually act in reverse of what nature intended our water to do. Instead of being a mineral delivery system, the minerals are taken out of the water and this puts additional stress on the body tissue to compensate for the lack of minerals in the water. The minerals must then be taken from our healthy reserves in bone and muscle, thus leaving our system deficient and vulnerable. Replacement is essential!