It is crazy hot. I love it! Especially when we train hard on days like these we lose A LOT of water. It is not unusual to be losing 3-5kg of water weight during a single day if we do not re-fuel. But did you know that drinking too much water without salt can be bad for us? Most people with fatal collapses during marathons do not collapse because it was too hot, or because they drank too little, but they collapsed because they drank too much! Yes you read that right! What we need to realize is that we lose a lot more than water when we sweat. We lose salt and other nutrients. And when we drink only water (without added salt) the salt in our body gets diluted in water and as a result the salt concentration in our brain sinks to dangerously low levels.
This is called hyponatremia and has lead to many deaths at sport events on hot days. The simple thing that could have saved those people is just some added salt in the water. On a less serious note, I recently had a high level soccer player who I consulted and he was plagued with cramps during later stages of the game. He tried magnesium, other electrolytes, Q10, physical therapy and went to 5 other sports doctors and received varied treatments. But when he started putting salt in his water his cramps were gone and he could play even overtime without cramps.
Salt in the water is a #badassbasic. So simple that most people skip it. Only real bad asses actually do it.
We sometimes hear that we shouldn’t consume too much salt. That can be true for some high risk blood pressure patients, but this information is mostly not rooted in solid evidence. The contrary is true. When we adopt a diet of real vegetables and real meat (without fast food), we often lack salt!! Fast Food is full of salt, but the thing most people miss when they adopt a healthier diet is salt!
What is your favorite drink on a hot summer day? Got recipes for us?
May the FLOW be with you all!
Gerrit Keferstein is a Medical Doctor specialised in Performance & Functional Medicine. He is most known for his work on the optimisation of recovery and adaptation in elite athletes.