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When the human body is heavily exerted through exercise, electrolytes are lost to the body through perspiration. Electrolytes are ionic salts that are present and important to the function of the human body. Important human electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate. Chemistry and biology studies have shown us that sodium and potassium, in particular, are important electrolytes because they are used in cells to maintain electrochemical gradients that are used to drive the production of ATP, the body's main energy supply. So using chemistry to create sports drinks with the optimal levels of electrolytes may help athletes maintain peak ATP production during play. I say "may" here because there is some debate over how effective these drinks really are in terms of sports performance.
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