How should electrolytes be used?


Electrolytes are mineral salts and other body fluids that are dissolved in the bloodstream, daily lost in urine, saliva, bile, mucus, intestinal tract secretions and sweat. Electrolyte supplements contain these mineral salts in concentrated form.


Sweat is considered an intense source of salt loss, but the losses of trace electrolytes are small. Trace (Zn, Cu, Fe) and small electrolytes (Ca, Mg, P) are thought to be given in sufficient quantities even with the simplest diet herbs; Major electrolytes (Na, Cl) are an exception. The horse cannot be pre-loaded with electrolytes; Scucsik et al. (2006) found no benefit with the administration of electrolyte supplements prior to exercise, regardless of supplement brand. Descriptions should therefore be rebalanced after exercise.



Szucsik, A., Balliskonis, V., McKeever, KH (2006). Effect of seven common supplements on plasma electrolyte and total carbon dioxide concentration and strong ion difference in standardbred horses subjected to stimulated race test. Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology, 3; 37-44