Electrolyte changes in human serum during and after exercise. – H. U.Nwanjo and G. Oze
The objective of this investigation was to assess the effect of exercise on serum electrolytes after a short term and a prolonged exercise in non-endurance untrained males aged between 18 – 30 yrs. Blood samples for Na+, K+, Cl- and HC03- analysis were taken before and after two exercise bouts. The study showed significant decreases in plasma Na+, Cl- and HC03- levels after the short intense and prolonged exercises (P< 0.05). Serum K+ showed a significant increase after the short-term exercise (P<0.05), which significantly lowered after the prolonged exercise. Low K+ values have been observed to cause excitatory changes in muscle irritability and myocardial dysfunction. Also fatigue, hypertension and congestive heart failure have been associated with low K+ and high Na+ and Cl- levels. Thus the observed decrease in K+, decrease in Na+ and Cl- levels after prolonged exercise is physiologically advantageous in the maintenance of proper body function.