Let me just say that I personally can vouch for what happens when you become Hyponatremia or commonly referred to water intoxication. We have heard for years the negative effects of “table salt” and have been encouraged to drink more water. I’m all for drinking water, but because I read an article on water intoxication about 15 years ago may have saved my life.
Let me take you back to my personal story, 12 years ago. My husband and I went to Jackson, WY to backpack the mountains for a few days. We packed our food, tent, clothes, etc. I was a newbie to say the least and didn’t understand the importance of proper electrolyte balance. After a couple of days of only drinking water and hiking/sweating, my body slowly started depleting the sodium balance. I started to begin noticing fatigue (which you might accredit the pack and hiking as I did), but there was more to just the normal fatigue. I went into a mental fog and stumbled and fell a couple of times. It started to drizzle, then rain and then more rain and I was becoming more and more disoriented.
We finally made camp and my hubby quickly assembled our tent in pouring down rain. EVERYTHING we were carrying was soaking wet. By now, I’m freezing and really disoriented and confused. Shortly after setting up tent, I tried to eat some food, which I quickly threw up. I began to go into muscular convulsions, contracting all of my core for about 30 seconds and then stop. I would cycle through this “convulsing/muscular contractions” every 5 minutes or so. This went on for about an hour, when I started to worry that the night was coming upon us and I was not able to walk, eat or sleep. I kept thinking I’m depleted in fluids and need to drink more water. Every time I drank, I vomited more. This became so severe, that my husband really thought I was going to die. At some point, I was worried myself, but was more worried about the point it would travel to my brain that I wouldn’t know what was going on. I started to categorize the articles in my mind of foods, water, electrolyte imbalance and I remembered reading an article about the symptoms of water intoxication. I quickly dug through my pack and found a packet of Gatorade powder and dump the packet in my mouth without water. I instantly stopped the muscle convulsions and slept for 6 hours solid.
All that to say, it is important to remember that electrolyte imbalances can be life threatening. I’m not a personal fan of Gatorade, but finding a good source of electrolytes is important. Himalayan Sea Salt is one of them. There are many homemade electrolyte drinks that you can make for your family as well.
I go back to baseball days where we snacked on sunflower seeds and lemonade. You might want to consider thinking of what is actually in the sports drinks before you think they are a healthy option for your family. Making your own, replacing table salt with Himalayan Salt, adding more whole fruit is something I would highly encourage.
My favorite drink is Cherry Water or Strawberry Lemon Water in my recipes.