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Emergen-C & Electrolytes

author image Emily Kennedy
Emily Kennedy has been a nutrition writer for more than 10 years, starting as a scientist writing abstracts and manuscripts for technical journals. Her transition from academia to consumer writing has resulted in a portfolio of magazine, newspaper, book and website publications. Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Science in foods and nutrition, a Master of Science in kinesiology and a diploma in natural nutrition.
Emergen-C & Electrolytes
Working out depletes the body of electrolytes, lost through perspiration. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Electrolytes are charged mineral ions that circulate in bodily fluids and help conduct electrical nerve impulses that stimulate muscle contraction and relaxation. The four major electrolytes in the body are sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate. Emergen-C powder is much more than a vitamin C supplement. It contains sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium and chromium, three other minerals important for muscle activity.

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Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium is a positively charged ion that usually exists as sodium chloride or common table salt in the diet. Sodium is critical for the brain, heart and nervous system to function normally by facilitating regular electrical signals for cell-to-cell communication. The combination of sodium with bicarbonate balances the acidity of the blood and buffers changes in the body's pH that may have occurred due to exercise or another stressor. Too much or too little sodium in the body can be very detrimental to health. The original formula of Emergen-C provides 60 mg of sodium bicarbonate to replace sodium lost in sweat and assist with balancing the pH of the body.

Potassium bicarbonate

Potassium is the counter ion to sodium and is also positively charged. Excessive sweating, vomiting or diarrhea can deplete the body of potassium and disrupt a regular heartbeat and normal muscle function. Emergen-C provides 200 mg of potassium as alkalizing potassium bicarbonate, potassium carbonate and potassium phosphate.


Calcium is the major mineral in the body and assists in muscle function just like the other electrolytes. It is so critical for muscle contraction that the body does a very good job keeping calcium levels stable in the blood. Very little calcium is lost in sweat as most of it is bound inside the bone matrix. Hence, Emergen-C contains only a small amount of calcium, 50 mg, to provide a small boost to muscle activity.


Magnesium is the counter mineral to calcium and primarily involved in the muscle relaxation. Like calcium, most of the body's magnesium is bound inside bones and teeth and the body draws on these stores to keep blood levels of magnesium relatively stable. Emergen-C provides 60 mg of magnesium to assist with fluid balance and hydration.

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