Mammoth Memory

Electrolytes in the body 

Electrolyte = a liquid containing salts or minerals that conducts electricity


Athletes take electrolytes in sports drinks. This is because the body is a superhighway of electrical energy through cells, tissue and fluids.

Image of magnified electrolytes are electrical chemicals sent to cells, muscles, tissues and fluids

These electrical signals can carry electrical impulses around the body to send signals or messages to control muscle contraction, maintain water balance and maintain pH levels.

Image of a human and where electrolytes could be found in the human body 

Your body needs electrolytes, which are chemicals that dissolve in fluid but can conduct electricity. For example, table salt (NaCl) will dissolve in water. The chemicals in salt – sodium and chlorine – will split apart and act independently in the water. This is called dissociation. Each part is called an ion - a negative chlorine ion (Cl-) and a positive sodium ion (Na+) - and is a good conductor of electricity.

 Electrolytes are chemicals that desolve in water called dissociation still conducting electricityStructure of particles in a NaCI crystal molecule including water molecule

Particle structure of NaCI in water showing dissociation

The body needs several electrolytes, each to serve a different function.

Sodium                      Na+

Chloride                    Cl-

Potassium                 K+

Magnesium              Mg++

Calcium                     Ca++

Phosphate                HPO4-

BUT the human body needs these to be at the correct balance. Too much or too little can be detrimental to your health.


Image to support that a balance of the 6 types of electrolytes important to health it vital

The balance is vital for things such as nerve impulses (electrical signals), muscle function and pH level (acid/alkaline balance).

The kidneys maintain this balance.

Electrolyte is a liquid containing salts and minerals that conducts electricity.

The electrolyte is the liquid that can carry an electrical charge. The chemicals in it have dissociated.

 Electrolytes is a liquid containing salt and minerals to conduct electricity around the body mnemonic

Think of an electric troll light (electrolyte) swimming under water (liquid).

Mnemonic showing that salt dissolved in water can conduct electric pulses around the body

The electric troll light was being used to find an electric cable (conducts electricity) but all it could find was a giant salt pot (salts).

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