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Electrolytes

I was very disappointed when I discovered what the word “electrolytes” meant. It was at least a year or two after I’d first heard the word before I got around to looking it up. It brings to mind some great imagery since it sounds like “electro lights.” I imagined bright little fireflies buzzing around in my body like beams of light down fiber optic cables. Whatever they were, I kind of hoped they’d glow in the dark.

So I was bummed when I found out electrolytes are just regular old chemicals. The definition from dictionary.com is: “Any of various ions, such as sodium, potassium, or chloride, required by cells to regulate the electric charge and flow of water molecules across the cell membrane.” Just dumb old regular chemicals! I can find that stuff in my one-a-day vitamins. Those don’t glow in the dark! I really don’t think electrolytes deserve to have as such a cool sounding name as they do.

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2 Comments

Mark • November 23, 2005 at 5:29 pm

I thought electrolytes were the people marching in the parade at Disneyland.

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Kirsten • November 24, 2005 at 4:59 am

I think potassium does glow in the dark… no, hang on a moment, I’m thinking of phosphorus. Which we do have, but in our bones.

I still associate electrolytes with second-year chemistry classes, and making wet-cell batteries out of pennies and salt-solution-soaked paper. That was fun.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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