So much advertising and experimenting goes into products that promise to keep our electrolytes in balance. Do we really need to be concerned about this? What exactly does the word electrolyte mean? Electrolytes are the salts within our body. They are what carry electrical charges throughout the body allowing signals to move from one cell to another. Electrolytes are comprised mainly of potassium (for muscle movement), calcium (to support bone structure), chloride (for normal cell function), magnesium (for nerve to muscle transmission), potassium (which aids in converting food to energy) and sodium (for fluid distribution). So why is a connection always made between activity and electrolytes? The answer is, we stand to lose these important minerals mainly through our sweat and urine. Extremely hot weather and dehydration can also cause loss of electrolytes. Not replacing these minerals during and after intense exercise can result in everything from vomiting to high fever to irregular heart beat. Some prefer replacing these salts by way of commercial drinks of which there are many. Citrus fruits hold an abundance of electrolytes, especially oranges, which is the preferred source by many top athletes. Also, including certain foods in your diet can aid in maintaining a good electrolyte balance. Milk, beans and figs are a great source of calcium. Bananas, kale and oranges provide large amounts of potassium. Magnesium is replenished by tomato paste and nuts. Chloride and Sodium are found in abundance in all seaweeds as well as celery. If that feeling of dizziness or imbalance starts whenever you are involved in any strenuous activity check with your physician first. If it is not something medical it may be the lack of sufficient electrolytes which can be replenished by incorporating some of the above foods mentioned.