Potassium and Sodium

In humans, sodium is an essential nutrient that regulates blood volume, blood pressure, osmotic equilibrium, and pH. Potassium cations are important in neuron (brain and nerve) function, and in influencing osmotic balance between cells and the interstitial fluid. Potassium is a major cation (positive ion) inside animal cells, while sodium is a major cation outside animal cells. The concentration differences of these charged particles cause a difference in electric potential between the inside and outside of cells, known as the membrane potential. The balance between potassium and sodium is maintained by ion transporters in the cell membrane.

In conjunction with magnesium and calcium, potassium and sodium provide for the essential bulk of electrolytic functions within the human body. All ions are electrolytes; substances that conduct an electrical current in solution. When a favorite appliance or electric tool has a loose wire it ceases to work at its maximum potential. Of course you can stand on one foot and wiggle the wire “just right” to make it work, but it still is not the most efficient method. Imagine your entire system “short circuiting” due to decreased electrolytes. Proper hydration, diet, exercise, supplementation, thought processes – everything matters.

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