salt your way to health
THE NATURAL WAY
Breath of Salt
Warm summer days are perfect for fun in the sun, but they also make your body sweat. And when bodies sweat, they lose salt. This loss of salt can result in the dangerous and potential fatal condition of low blood sodium, known medically as hyponatremia.
Since sodium is lost when bodies sweat, simply replacing the lost fluid with water actually further contributes to decreased blood sodium. To see
how this works, visualize a full glass of salt-water. If you pour out half of the salt-water (as is lost in sweat), and replace it with pure water, the concentration of sodium in the water is far less. The result is hyponatremia.
Studies have shown that our bodies can lose about a 1/4 teaspoon of salt per quart of sweat. And on hot days, we can lose that amount of water in perspiration even if we aren't exercising.
Salt is essential because your cells use salt to transfer liquids, nutrients, and wastes across their membranes and to carry electrical impulses through nerves and muscles to communicate with other cells. So when salt levels fall low, it affects your entire body. For this reason, it is very important in hot and humid weather to make sure that you adequately replace the salt that your body loses in sweat. Particularly if you are on vacation in a place where the climate is warmer than you are accustomed to at home.
You can tell your body is losing salt if your sweat stings your eyes or tastes salty. The early warning signs of hyponatremia include nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, slurred speech, confusion, and inappropriate behavior. At the most extreme, hyponatremia can lead to seizures, coma, or death. So it pays to be aware of this as a health precaution.
The best way to avoid the problems associated with low blood sodium is to plan ahead. Here are some tips.
*Add extra natural salt to your food in the summertime.
*At the first sign of symptoms, drink a sports drink containing natural salt.
*Plan ahead to estimate your fluid loss and need for salt replacement and drink your sports drink BEFORE your body goes into hyponatremia. Find out what your body's individual fluid needs are and provide for them.
While commercial sports drinks do provide the proper balance of sodium and salt, they also contain ingredients that are not so good for your body, such as polluted water, industrial sodium chloride, refined white sugar, and artificial colors.
You can easily make an all-natural sports drink at home.
Sports drinks contain both sugar and and salt because both help your body absorb and retain water. The ideal proportions for a sports drink are 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt to 1 quart water, plus flavoring to taste. Once made, it should be kept refrigerated.
Different sweeteners are made up of different kinds of sugars. Since sucrose is recommended, I suggest using maple syrup, or fresh sugar cane juice (this is available in some areas of the country, and contains all the nutrients and enzymes present in raw foods). Lemon, lime, any juice, or flavoring extracts can be used for flavoring (if you use a sweet juice, reduce the amount of sweetener just a bit to keep the balance).
NATURAL SPORTS DRINK
1 quart good quality water
1/3 cup maple syrup or fresh sugar cane juice
1/4 teaspoon natural salt (Himalayan Crystal Salt)
juice of one lemon, or more to taste
1. Mix all the ingredients together
2. Refrigerate until you are ready to drink it.
If you are in a situation where your body is dehydrated and you need to replenish water, but don't can't mix up a sports drink, at least sprinkle a little salt in the water. Living here in TX , I always carry a little bag of "The Original" Himalayan Crystal Salt with me, so I can add it to my food or sprinkle it in water. So this summer, keep your body healthy by making sure it has the salt it needs.