We talk a lot about the importance of electrolyte levels — it’s kind of our thing — but what are normal electrolyte levels? Well, if you’re drinking fluids, getting plenty of exercise and you’re feeling particularly fatigued, dizzy or cramping that’s a very good sign that your electrolyte levels might be off. To know that for sure, we’ll need some outside help.
Electrolytes are essential minerals that help to regulate the body’s fluid balance, nerve and muscle function, and like your car, checking your fluids requires getting under the hood. In this case, with a medical professional administering a form of blood or urine test. These tests measure the levels of the various minerals responsible for carrying the electrical charges in your system necessary to proper balance. Specifically, the ideal range of mineral levels are:
- Sodium: 136-144 mEq/L
- Potassium: 3.7-5.1 mEq/L (serum), 3.5-5 mEq/L (whole blood)
- Magnesium: 1.4-1.9 mEq/L (serum), 3.3-5.34 mEq/L (red blood cells)
- Calcium: 2.16-2.6 mEq/L
- Phosphate: 0.87-1.55 mEq/L
- Chloride: 97-105 mEq/L
- Bicarbonate: 22-30 mEq/L
You were a much better chemistry student than I was if that list means anything to you. Fortunately, it would be as clear as properly balanced urine to your doctor. If you are feeling any of the symptoms outlined here, it may be time to consult a medical professional. If it does turn out that you need some help getting those electrolyte levels where you want them, we’re here to help.