Nutrition Education|5 Important Electrolytes

Here’s the definition of an electrolyte according to Wikipedia: An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrically conducting solution when disolved in a polar solvent, such as water.

Sounds fancy?

Here’s a less complicated definition: Electrolytes are substances that dissociate (break apart) into ions in solutions then gains the capacity to conduct electricity.

Much better right?

Today we are going to discuss 5 important electrolytes. Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Calcium, and Magnesium. You will learn what each one is responsible for and 5 great food sources. The characteristics and food sources for each of the 5 electrolytes listed below are not limited to this list. We wanted to share a few of each. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Sodium (Chemical symbol – Na)


Maintains body hydration

Transmit nerve impulses

Food sources:

Celery, Cheese, Beets, Milk, Processed foods

2. Potassium (Chemical symbol – K)


Functionality of all living cells

Muscle excitability

Muscle contraction

Food sources:

Bananas, spinach, squash, yogurt, avocados

3. Chloride (Chemical symbol – Cl)


Maintains the body’s pH (acid/base balance)

Transmit nerve impulses

Regulate fluid in and out of cells

Food sources:

Lettuce, tomatoes, celery, olives, rye

4. Calcium (Chemical symbol – Ca)


Support bones and functions

Signal cells

Muscle contraction

Food sources:

Cheese, yogurt, beans, almonds, spinach

5. Magnesium (Chemical symbol – Mg)


Functionality of body enzymes

Food sources:

Nuts, avocados, flaxseeds, whole grains, bananas


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