Electrolytes are essential to every body in terms of the body’s wellbeing and the ability to function. Every type of ion that makes up electrolytes and the places they are found are crucial information to better understanding electrolytes as a whole. Questions that may come up are: how do I replenish these electrolytes?, how do they help my body?, and what are electrolytes made up of? With these questions in mind, one is trying to make himself or herself more aware of what happens in their body and what is important to keep their body healthy. Not only are electrolytes important to bodily functions, but they are also important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ions produced from substances that are broken down in water are called electrolytes. This solution can conduct electricity by the movement of cations and anions. (http://www.science. uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/c120/electrolyte.html). This electrically conductive solution is crucial to the wellbeing of a person’s body fluids. This helps with life functions along with other things. Electrolytes are responsible for keeping balance between the environments inside and outside of cells in the body. An imbalance of electrolytes can cause serious effects to the body’s health. This is determined by the food and water consumed, both contain crucial elements in ion form that give to the body. (https://www.builtlean.com/2012/ 11/28/electrolytes/). Foods and beverages that contain sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium in ion form are rich with electrolytes. Foods that contain lots of electrolytes come from plants, including fruits and vegetables. Vegetables such as white beans, potatoes, spinach, and bell peppers are rich with potassium. Foods that contain lots of sodium include beets, celery, and bell peppers. Almond nuts, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds are foods that contain calcium and magnesium. (https://www.rebootwithjoe.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about -electrolytes/) Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese and soy milk also offer electrolytes for the body. These foods help with keeping pH levels and hydration balanced in the body to prevent electrical signals from being altered. Seafoods like scallops also provide nutrients for the body, similar to dairy products. ( https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-electrolyte -foods.php) Sports drinks that many athletes consume include Gatorade, Powerade, Vitaminwater, and Accelerade. Athletes drink these to get electrolytes fast in order to help their performance. By providing them with electrolytes, the drinks prevent them from becoming dehydrated and having muscle cramps. A cation that is part of the electrolytes makeup is Sodium (Na+). Sodium is in charge of ensuring that the body has enough water. It also helps with muscle and nerve function and controls the amount of blood the body has. Places like lymph fluid, plasma, and blood contain Sodium. (https://www.builtlean.com/2012/11 /28/electrolytes/). It “creates one half of the electric pump that keeps electrolytes in balance between the intracellular and extracellular environments” (Morrow). This electric pump is made up of sodium and potassium. These two ions work together to bring nutrients in and out of the cellular membranes. Using these negative and positive charges, they create tiny bombs that pumps the nutrients. This is opening and closing ion channels produced by electric signals. (Jordahl 2). Sodium comes from eating foods that contain table salt. Imbalances of sodium in the body can result in hypernatremia and hyponatremia. An anion that is part of the electrolytes makeup is Chloride (Cl-). Chloride is found in fluid that is outside of a cell and works along with sodium. Chloride maintains the correct amount of pH in the body by balancing cations of tissue, organs, and blood. (https://www. builtlean.com/2012/11 /28/electrolytes/) This balances out the cations by a process called osmosis. Modern Chemistry defines osmosis as “the movement of solvent through a semipermeable membrane from the side of the lower solute concentration to the side of higher solute concentration” (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston 452). This causes cells to shrink and expand when they either lose or gain water. This is essential to the life of cells because the membrane of the cell is semipermeable. The cells let water in and out through osmosis because of the semipermeable membrane only allowing water to pass through, not the sucrose molecules. Cells can be in environments of isotonic, hypertonic, and hypotonic. Isotonic solutions have the same amount of water coming into and out of the cell because the equality in the dissolved solutes total molar concentration. Hypotonic solutions identify as the dissolved solutes total molar concentration being smaller than that of another cell’s. Because one side of the cell has less dissolved solutes than the other side, the other side is correspondingly greater in concentration of water. Hypertonic solutions are when all the dissolved particles total molar concentration is more than a cell’s concentration. This makes the cell’s concentration to be lower because of the dissolved solutes concentration being greater outside of the cell. This causes the cell to decrease in size unlike hypotonic solutions that make the cell increase in size. (http://www .phschool.com/science/biology_place/biocoach/biomembrane1/hypertonic.html) One can consume chloride by having a salt diet. Imbalances in chloride can result in hyperchloremia and hypochloremia. (https://www.builtlean.com/2012/11/ 28/electrolytes/) Potassium is a cation found inside cells that is an essential part of the makeup of electrolytes. This ion helps regulate muscle functions and heart rate. This “forms the other half of the electric pump that keeps electrolytes in balance and allows conductivity between cells” (Morrow). The electric pump, like explained above, helps bring nutrients in and out of cells. Potassium is very important in neurotransmission which is the transmission of nerve impulses across a synapse. Potassium can be obtained through foods such as meats, fruits, and vegetables. Imbalances in potassium can result in hyperkalemia and hypokalemia. Another cation that is very important to every cell and helps make up electrolytes is Magnesium (Mg++). Magnesium plays an important role in the body and is critical for over three hundred biochemical reactions. It helps the immune system in the body, ensures that the heart rate is stable in the body, and furthers the progress of the development of bones and teeth. Magnesium additionally steadies blood sugar and is essential in synthesizing RNA and DNA in cells. A way that one can obtain Magnesium is is drinking tea and eating nuts and green vegetables. Imbalances of Magnesium can result in hypermagnesemia and hypomagnesemia. Calcium (Ca++) is a cation that is a part of the makeup of electrolytes. Almost all of the calcium in the body is found in the bones of the body. Calcium plays a vital role in clotting for blood, nerve impulses transmission, and the contraction of muscles in the body. Calcium is also needed in the bloodstream and if there is not enough calcium in the bloodstream, it could result in osteoporosis. One can obtain calcium through the consumption of milk, cheese, yogurt, or any other dairy product. Imbalances of this cation can result in hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia. (https://www.builtlean.com/2012/11/ 28/electrolytes/)Electrolytes are critical to bodily processes that help carry out body functions especially if one exercises. Controlling ion channels, electrolytes help one’s body be able to move by giving energy to start the contraction of the muscles. They help maintain and regulate the temperature and the levels of fluid in bodies. It helps conduct the transport of ions and the movement of fluids across cells. Electrolytes aid in the transportation of information throughout nerves to tell the brain certain information it has collected. This gives the the body the ability to have senses like taste. The beating of the heart and the rate of breathing is aided by electrolytes along with the breaking down of sugars and the function of the bladder in the body. Energy being produced and functions in the brain such as messaging signals, memory, and thought are carried out with the help of electrolytes as well. (http://www.bodybio.com/content.aspx?page=elyte- electrolyte-101) Replenishing electrolytes is very important for having a healthy lifestyle, especially if one is an athlete. By eating foods and drinking beverages that are rich in sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium, one can get essential nutrients that are needed for the body. After working out replenishing electrolytes is a must in order to make sure the body is functioning correctly. Simply adding salt to one’s diet can help retain any lost body fluid from working out. By drinking sports drinks, it allows the body to get these essential ions fast to help the body carry out its many processes. Drinking plenty of water will also ensure that the blood in your body does not thicken and makes sure that the heart does not start to work overtime. (http://blog. outdoorherbivore.com /life/replenishing-electrolytes/)Electrolytes imbalances can be very harmful to one’s health. In terms of athletes, an electrolyte imbalance can cause dehydration, a sense of tiredness, and reaction time being delayed. It additionally can cause muscle cramps because not enough water is able to reach the muscles in the body. (https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/importance-electrolytes-human-body- athletes-replace-4341.html) Electrolyte imbalances are caused by not getting enough of a certain ion for the body. Cases such as hyponatremia and hypernatremia are caused because of an imbalance of sodium ions. Symptoms including lethargy and confusion result because of the electrolyte imbalances. (https://www.builtlean.com/2012/11/28/electrolytes/) Without replenishing electrolytes one can put himself or herself at serious risk due to imbalances in the body. Being an electrically conductive solution found in foods and beverages made up of various ions, electrolytes are crucial for carrying out various processes. By replenishing electrolytes everyday with specific ions, one is on the right track to ensure a healthy life. Imbalances can be fatal so making sure that one obtains these electrolytes is very important. Electrolytes are essential to everyone; ensuring a healthy balance and maintaining a healthy diet are significant, especially for athletes.