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Sodium

Sodium is the primary electrolyte that regulates the extracellular fluid levels in the body. Sodium is essential for hydration because this mineral pumps water into the cell. In turn, potassium pumps the by-products of cellular processes out of the cell, eventually eliminating these "wastes" from the body. In addition to maintaining water balance, sodium is necessary for osmotic equilibrium, acid-base balance and regulation of plasma volume, nerve impulses and muscle contractions.