Top 3 Benefits of Electrolytes & Why They're Important

Nov 13, 2023 Lifestyle Tips 5 MIN

Top 3 Benefits of Electrolytes & Why They're Important

Quick Scoop

  • The major electrolytes include Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, Magnesium, Bicarbonate, and Phosphate.
  • A healthy balance of electrolytes is essential for overall health and proper functioning of many bodily processes.
  • Most people don’t need to pay close attention to their electrolytes, but replenishment may be warranted for active athletes or to otherwise counteract a good sweat.
  • Speak with your healthcare provider or dietitian to determine whether your diet is adequate or if you should consider adding other electrolyte

In a world where staying active and maintaining optimal health are priorities, you’ve probably been part of a conversation about electrolytes. These essential minerals play a vital role in maintaining your body’s delicate balance of fluids and ensuring your muscles, nerves, and organs are supported.

You might be wondering, do I need to be mindful of my electrolytes? Most people don’t need to pay too much attention as the body can manage this on its own.

However, if you’re an athlete or otherwise highly active person, live in a hot and humid climate, or otherwise experience extra fluid losses, you may want to consider replenishing. If you’re not sure whether you should be concerned about your electrolytes, it’s always best to speak with your healthcare provider.

In this article, we’re exploring the benefits of electrolytes, including what exactly they do in your body and why it’s so important to keep them in balance.

Learn More: Why Is Hydration Important? The Connection Between Hydration and The Immune System

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are essential minerals in your body that carry an electric charge. They are concentrated in your bodily fluids, such as the fluid around and inside of your cells as well as your blood and urine.

It’s important that electrolytes remain present in your body at specific levels in order to support crucial processes and maintain your overall functionality. When they’re off balance for any reason, you might begin to experience a range of symptoms as certain body functions become affected.

The main electrolytes are: [1]

  • Sodium, an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance and conduct nerve impulses
  • Potassium, helps support fluid balance and healthy muscle function
  • Calcium, which helps support strong and healthy bones
  • Magnesium, an essential mineral required for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and supports nerve, heart, muscle and bone health
  • Chloride, works together with sodium and helps maintain fluid balance
  • Phosphorus, involved in the structure of bone and cell membranes

Learn More: Why Is Calcium Important And Are You Getting Enough?

Why are Electrolytes Important?

Electrolytes are important because they are necessary components for countless processes in your body. Maintaining an optimal electrolyte balance is critical for overall health.

Some of the functions that rely on electrolytes include: [1]

  • Nerve and neurological function [2]
  • Fluid balance
  • Muscle contraction
  • pH balance
  • Bone health
  • Blood pressure regulation [3]

Electrolyte imbalances can develop as a result of excessive loss through sweating, and nutritional deficiencies in your diet pattern. Electrolyte balance supports our overall health.

The Top Health Benefits of Maintaining Electrolyte Balance

Maintaining a normal electrolyte balance is important for several aspects of your overall health, which we’ve broken down more.

Maintains Hydration Levels

Drinking water to stay hydrated is important for your overall health but electrolytes also play a key role in your fluid status.

Sodium and potassium in particular are critical for regulating the movement of fluids in and out of your cells, maintaining proper cell function, and triggering thirst when needed. They also help replace electrolytes lost through sweat. Having a healthy electrolyte balance helps support fluid regulation and overall hydration. [4] Supports Nerve, Muscle, and Cellular Energy Levels  

Electrolytes help ensure the proper function of physiological processes in your body. For instance, various electrolytes are involved in nerve and muscle function to help you perform activities efficiently.

They help maintain proper blood volume and circulation, which is important for delivering oxygen and nutrients to cells for energy. Electrolytes, like Magnesium, are also involved in metabolic reactions like the breakdown of nutrients for cellular energy, as well as are necessary for maintaining hydration in the body. [1]

Learn More: How To Get Electrolytes Replenished (3 Ways)

How to Get Electrolytes Daily

Most healthy people don’t need to pay close attention to their electrolyte levels as the body takes care of this itself.

Incorporate a wide variety of electrolytes through your diet pattern and consider whether your lifestyle may warrant the need for a more focused approach.

Food Sources for Electrolytes

There are many sources of electrolytes that you could include in your everyday lifestyle. Some of the places you probably already get them are: [5]

  • Fruits and vegetables like bananas, spinach, avocados, oranges, and potatoes for Potassium and Magnesium
  • Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread, oats, and barley for Magnesium and Phosphorus
  • Dairy products and tofu for Calcium and Magnesium
  • Nuts and seeds like cashews, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds for Magnesium
  • Coconut water for Potassium
  • Table salt for Chloride and Sodium or pink Himalayan salt for Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium
  • Pickled foods and cheese for Sodium

Learn More: What Foods Contain Potassium?

Remember that electrolyte needs depend on a number of factors, such as age, climate, activity level, and health conditions. The best way to know whether you’re getting enough or need to consider additional supplementation is to be evaluated by your healthcare provider.

Learn More About Electrolytes

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


  1. Shrimanker I, Bhattarai S. Electrolytes. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; July 24, 2023.
  2. Espay AJ. Neurologic complications of electrolyte disturbances and acid-base balance. Handb Clin Neurol. 2014;119:365-382. doi:10.1016/B978-0-7020-4086-3.00023-0
  3. Iqbal S, Klammer N, Ekmekcioglu C. The Effect of Electrolytes on Blood Pressure: A Brief Summary of Meta-Analyses. Nutrients. 2019;11(6):1362. Published 2019 Jun 17. doi:10.3390/nu11061362
  4. Walker MD. Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances: Interpretation and Assessment. J Infus Nurs. 2016;39(6):382-386. doi:10.1097/NAN.0000000000000193
  5. Schiefermeier-Mach N, Egg S, Erler J, et al. Electrolyte Intake and Major Food Sources of Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium among a Population in Western Austria. Nutrients. 2020;12(7):1956. Published 2020 Jun 30. doi:10.3390/nu12071956


Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

NatureMade Contributor

Lauren specializes in plant-based living and vegan and vegetarian diets for all ages. She also enjoys writing about parenting and a wide variety of health, environmental, and nutrition topics. Find her at

Read More

Lynn M. Laboranti, RD

Science and Health Educator

Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read More