The Electricity that Powers your Heart

Your heart beats while you are alive is an axiom. You might wonder though, what makes your heart beat. More specifically, where does it get the power for the mechanical motion that results in the pumping of your blood throughout your body. If you think of your heart as a motor, it needs to be connected to some power outlet. Instead, in nothing short of a miracle, your heart has an inbuilt power generation system. Think of it as a hydel power station built right into the heart which generates the electricity to power your heart.

The power station works by using the same principles of a hydro-electric plant – or flow. Your heart contains something called the SA Node a.k.a the pacemaker of the heart. It is this SA node that sends out an electrical impulse that makes the chambers of the heart pump. The electrical pulse itself is generated in the cell by the interchange of sodium and pottasium ions (what you know as electrolytes). At rest, your cells have more potassium ions inside the cell than sodium ions. Potassium ions carry a negative charge, and therefore the inside of your cells are negatively charged. The sodium ions are positively charged and surround the cell.

When your body needs to generate electricity, the gates of the cell is opened, and the positively and negatively charged move freely in and out of the cell. This rapid movement propelled by opposite charge generates an electrical impulse. The charge produced triggers the gates of the next cell to open in turn creating a charge. Your cells are now on their way to generating electricity. If the fact that your heart has an electric producing station within is not fascinating enough, get this – the source of the electricity generated is the food you eat. That is where your body gets the sodium and potassium to generate electricity.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.

2 thoughts on “The Electricity that Powers your Heart

  • November 28, 2017 at 4:22 am

    It’s always good to read ur articles every morning

    • November 29, 2017 at 6:52 am

      Thank you so much Gazala. Really appreciate your feedback

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