The Importance of Electrolytes

The importance of electrolytes cannot be understated as they play a crucial role in hydration and cellular function. Learn more about the importance of electrolytes and when to consider using an electrolyte replacement for your horse.

The importance of Electrolytes


What are Electrolytes and How Do They Work?

Electrolytes are salts and minerals found in fluids in the horse’s body; including Sodium, Chloride, Potassium as well as small amounts of Calcium and Magnesium. Other trace minerals can be found but in tiny quantities. These electrolytes make up a critical component of the total body fluid in the horse. Electrolytes are responsible for a variety of vital bodily functions in the horse. They regulate and maintain the balance of cellular hydration as well as playing a key role in cellular signalling (essential for daily organ function). Equine body fluid regulation is complex but without electrolytes, the body is not capable of maintaining the right amount of fluid in and around cells.  Electrolytes play a crucial role in cellular signalling – for example it is the electrolytes shifting across a muscle cell membrane that signals to the muscle to contract. The electrolyte minerals of Sodium and Potassium are involved in that process; making them essential for daily organ ­functions.

When and Why Supplement Electrolytes?

For most horses, electrolytes are provided in adequate quantities by the diet through forage and feed concentrates. However, sometimes extra electrolytes are needed in order to prevent dehydration. Situations where this would be applicable is:

✔ After heavy sweating
✔ Prolonged exercise
✔ Competition performance or transportation in hot weather
✔ Exposure to high heat

Electrolyte replacement will increase water intake (reducing the risk of dehydration), improve performance recovery and continue to assist with normal bodily functions within the horse. These are especially important during in hot conditions and for equine performance and health.

NutriLyte Electrolyte Replacement

NutriLyte is an electrolyte replacement supplement that contains sodium chloride and potassium in the same ratio as is lost in sweat. Because NutriLyte contains easily absorbed carbohydrates it replaces energy much faster and can therefore be used during, and immediately after exercise. NutriLyte can help with rapid restoration of energy, Increased performance in hot conditions and reduced debilitation during transportation.

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