What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are well recognised for the amazing role they play in the body. But despite this few really know what they do, why they are important, and even what they are.
And so what are electrolytes, and why is the word “ion” so important in comprehending their function?
Years ago I was presenting our natural treatments to a medical doctor. He had used one of our products for years, but it wasn’t until I arrived at his practice that I realized he wasn’t a naturopath (i.e. registered natural doctor in Australia).
And so the humiliation began as he, one by one, disparagingly consigned all of my other products to the reject pile.
Then I handed him a bottle of liquid Ionic Sea Minerals.
After reading the formula he offered a condescending suggestion that these minerals weren’t “medical” strength and didn’t stack up to his tablets that were much “stronger”.
“Well of course, doctor, the thing that sets these minerals apart is that they are ionic”, I replied.
“What does ionic mean?”, he retorted.
After I pushed picked myself up from the floor (where I had fallen in amazement that an experienced doctor didn’t know his Year 11 chemistry) I explained that ions are charged atoms – much higher quality and greater absorption than other mineral supplements.
His next move was to hit his speed dial, calling a pharmacist on his office speakerphone.
“I’ve got a rep here trying to sell me ionic minerals. Can you tell me what an ion is?”
This exercise, designed to throw egg on my face, saw him soaking in it.
“Oh, I’m not sure, Doctor. I don’t really know what an ion is. I know at the herb store they say ionic minerals are better than other types, but I don’t know why. Perhaps you may like to check with them?”
Well that was the effective end of my interview with the good doctor. I exited the surgery stunned at the abject ignorance of these medical people.
An ionic mineral, or electrolyte, is an electrically charged element. When an element has an even number of electrons and protons it is called an atom. But when there is an uneven number it is called an ion.
Atoms and ions are the building blocks of all things. But as ions carry a charge that atoms do not, they play a vital role in the electrical reactions that take place throughout the body.
That means that every body cell needs ions, or electrolytes, to function. And so every person alive needs electrolytes. Without them we die.
So who really understands what an electrolyte is? Perhaps the next time you visit your doctor you should ask the question, “Doctor, what is an ionic mineral?”
The answer you get may be enlightening on many levels.