Electrolytes are necessary materials when mixed in water or another solvent, conduct electricity. They are essential for many different body processes, including sustaining fluid equilibrium, sending nerve signals and enabling muscle contractions.

The principal electrolytes sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate are found in human bodies. For instance, sodium and potassium are essential for muscular contraction and neuronal transmission. By regulating the flow of water into and out of cells, they aid in the regulation of fluid balance.

Chloride aids in digestion and helps to maintain appropriate pH levels. It is commonly found as sodium chloride or table salt. Magnesium is required for enzyme functioning, muscle relaxation and the synthesis of energy, whereas calcium is vital for the health of bones, contractions of muscles and nerve activity.

Non-electrolytes are materials that are not conducting electricity when dissolved in water because they do not dissociates into ions. A few examples are urea, sugar and alcohol.

Non-electrolytes have a number of significant functions:

Energy storage: Lipids, Particularly triglycerides, serves as a major energy storage form in living organisms, providing a concentrated source of energy when metabolized. 

Osmotic equilibrium: In cells and tissues, non-electrolytes aid in preserving osmotic balance. For example, glucose is a significant osmolyte that controls the flow of water across the membranes of cells.

Hormonal regulation: Hormones, which are often non-electrolytes such as steroids, regulate various physiological processes in organisms, including metabolism, growth and reproduction.

Molecules other than electrolytes are capable of storing energy. For instance, glucose is kept as glycogen in the body.

By-Ms. Shivani Sinha 
(Faculty of Biochemistry)