Electrolytes are minerals in the blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge.
Electrolytes affect the:
- Amount of water in the body
- Acidity of the blood (pH)
- Muscle function
- Regulate function, our
- Body’s hydration
- Blood pressure
- Rebuilding of damaged tissue
The primary ions of electrolytes consist of the following macrominerals:
- Sodium (Na+)
- Potassium (K+)
- Calcium (Ca2+)
- Magnesium (Mg2+)
- Chloride (Cl−)
- Hydrogen phosphate (HPO42−)
- Hydrogen carbonate(HCO3−)
Electrolyte levels are kept constant by our kidneys and several hormones – even when our bodies trigger changes. When we exercise we sweat and lose electrolytes, mainly sodium and potassium.
To maintain electrolyte concentrations of our body fluids constant, these electrolytes must be replaced. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of sodium and potassium and replace lost electrolytes. Excess electrolyte levels in our blood are filtered out by our kidneys.
Replenishing electrolytes by consuming sea salt can create an imbalance of certain electrolytes, typically calcium, potassium and magnesium. Three popular sea salt products contain all the primary electrolytes (except hydrogen carbonate). However, the percentage of sodium and chloride is much higher than the the other electrolytes.
The following Table lists the percentage of electrolytes in three popular sea salt products. The quantities are listed in percentages per 1000 milligrams. Therefore if sodium is calculated at 38.0%, then this would mean that there is 380mg per 1 gram of sea salt.
Micromineral Analysis Comparison of Salt Products
Micromineral Analysis Comparison of Salt Products Mineral Redmond Real SaltTM Celtic Sea SaltTM Pink Himalayan SaltTM
Calcium .50 .15 .21
Phosphorus .01 .04 .04
Potassium .10 .13 .10
Sulfur .26 1.2 .346
Sodium 38.0 35.0 38.0
Chloride 60.0 54.0 60.0
Magnesium .10 .51 .15
Silicone .14 .27 .15
Data based on Analysis Datasheet from each Company. PDF downloads at end of post.
For all three products, the sodium chloride content is from 89% to 98%. The magnesium, potassium and calcium content is quite low compared to the sodium chloride content. For example, the potassium content is no more than 10 mg or 50 mg per 1 gram of sea salt. This amount of potassium is quite low per gram, especially when the RDA of potassium is 4.7 grams according to the Institute of Medicine.
The following Table list the RDA for the macrominerals (electrolytes) according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine which published the Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes for Elements (Minerals).
Macrominerals (Quantity in body and RDA)
Macrominerals Macromineral Quantity present in average (70 kg/154.4lbs) person RDA (mg) 31-50 year Male RDA (mg) 31-50 year Female
Calcium 1.1 kg 1000 mg 1000 mg
Chlorine 199 g 2300 mg 2300 mg
Magnesium 35 g 420 mg 320 mg
Phosphorus 750 g 700 mg 700 mg
Potassium 225 g 4700 mg 4700 mg
Sulfur 150 g No RDA No RDA
Sodium 90 g 1500 mg 1500 mg
Silicone 30 g No RDA No RDA
The Table below lists the RDA of the electrolytes and the percentage of each electrolyte. It is apparent that potassium is the electrolyte with the highest percentage of 44% with sodium chloride at 36% of the total RDA.
Percentage of RDA of Electrolytes
Electrolytes Mineral RDA (mg) 31-50 year Male Percentage of Total
Calcium 1000 mg 9%
Potassium 4700 mg 44%
Sodium 1500 mg 14%
Chlorine 2300 mg 22%
Magnesium 420 mg 4%
Phosphorus 700 mg 7%
Sodium Chloride (Salt) Combined 36%
Totals 10,620 mg 100%
Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Elements (Institute of Medicine) (PDF)
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