Electrolyte & Salt Replacement

1 to 20 of 33 messages
11/06/2009 at 07:38

Hi

As you guys may have read in the previous post, we're off to india overland from Poland via Turkey, Iran & Pakistan.

Can anyone recommend any good electrolyte and salt replacement kits for the journey..through deserts and salt lakes..actually may not need the salt come to think of it now!

Sweet

Steve

11/06/2009 at 07:41

Hi,

A number of the places you are going have a drink with yoghurt and salt or sugar called in Pakistan, lassi. 

11/06/2009 at 08:20
Dioralyte is good for rehydrating you after tummy upsets; electrolyte replacement tablets such as these will help keep your electrolyte levels up. Nuun tablets are in vogue at the moment too, though they are very expensive - 50p for not much more than a pinch of salt!
11/06/2009 at 08:26

how do you normally get electrolyte and salt replacement. food?

whilst there do what the locals do.

11/06/2009 at 08:35

This may be heretical but to my understanding , unless you are ill, the body is very good at controlling electrolytes. If you are short of salt your sweat gets less salty. Generally people's diets have much too much Sodium Chloride. No salts need to be added to most diets. There is electrolytes in the right sort of ratio in all ordinary food. All food was a living cell that was controlling its electrolyte level well too.

So keep the dioralyte for if you are sick.
Edited: 11/06/2009 at 08:40
11/06/2009 at 23:54
Travel stores like Nomad sell the elecrolytes salt replacements you want these days I think you will find, either online or in their stores. Travelpharm too are a useful source online.
12/06/2009 at 00:00
Derek Goffin wrote (see)

This may be heretical but to my understanding , unless you are ill, the body is very good at controlling electrolytes. If you are short of salt your sweat gets less salty. Generally people's diets have much too much Sodium Chloride. No salts need to be added to most diets. There is electrolytes in the right sort of ratio in all ordinary food. All food was a living cell that was controlling its electrolyte level well too.

So keep the dioralyte for if you are sick.

Derek is in essence not wrong as such here of course. It is though better to have a few of these in one's gear arsenal in the first aid kit just in case you do need them. A lot of travellers just still use normal travellers salt tablets though dissolved in a drink of water too, and they are available if you ask for them very cheaply over the counter in any chemists shop ok. Once you get into that point of being so ill with diarrhoea abroad that you are a casualty, it is good to have one of the little green spoon measure devices that mix in the correct quantity salt and sugar in solution drink to allow recovery. Again Nomad and Travelpharm stock these quite cheap crucial bits of kit. Remember too in a true emergency the salt and sugar portions can be found in most ration packs in the brew kit.
12/06/2009 at 06:48

Hi Laylos

I used to use these Science in sport.... 

Wifey used to work there so they were never in short supply .

They can be found at some outdoor shops but they do also now sell them in the supermarkets around near the isotnic juices.

Hope this helps.

12/06/2009 at 23:08

' unless you are ill, the body is very good at controlling electrolytes.'

Hmm, am not so sure - well, mine isn't at any rate. I was walking every day in the French Alps during 07 (80-100 hrs/week) and struggled in the summer heat, getting more and more debilitated, despite careful balanced diet, multi-vitamins and water.

Went to a pharmacist who sold me some stuff specifically to replace all the trace elements (not the usual Ca, K, Na, etc), which get diluted out by continuous sweating. 

Felt better in 2 days, right as rain in 4 days. Am getting some more next time I go

Edited: 12/06/2009 at 23:08
12/06/2009 at 23:13
What was the stuff Judy?
12/06/2009 at 23:19

Wish I could remember ALS! Orange effervescent tabs in a tall round tube isn't very helpful is it Am out there again on Friday, so will find out and let you know ...

Cheers

13/06/2009 at 00:16

"Orange effervescent tabs in a tall round tube" sounds like the Berrocca vitamin and mineral replacement stuff I use occassionally...

13/06/2009 at 08:12
Have a nice trip Judy - I've really enjoyed reading your website, so I hope you find time and are sufficiently mineralised to keep writing!
13/06/2009 at 09:06
Amen to that too ALS my mate! Judy is rather wonderful isn't she!I forgot to mention before that this type of electrolytes kit is now stocked by the big outdoors/survival/military kit suppliers too like BCB International, and the main suppliers/distributors of those such BCB items in UK are Survival Aids.com/Cadet Direct.com online, the UK main BCB agent.
Edited: 13/06/2009 at 09:07
13/06/2009 at 09:11
I guess to some extent it is down to personal individual metabolism isn't it, in some folks needing electrolyte/salts replacement and some not; for the same encountered conditions experienced on a walk, wherever one is walking. It makes me think of a recent local West Sussex area walk I did the other week back, with fellow OM'er and friend Parky Again; he noticed that I sweated into my shirt back a heck of a lot more under the daysac I was wearing than he did into his own, on a rest stop for water. I guess that means that I would be one of those that tends to therefore get more dehydrated more quickly, and on a long walk that is why I need the electrolytes replacement so much more than others seem to do. Especially on a hot day.
Edited: 13/06/2009 at 09:14
16/06/2009 at 23:30
Judy A wrote (see)

' unless you are ill, the body is very good at controlling electrolytes.'

Hmm, am not so sure - well, mine isn't at any rate. I was walking every day in the French Alps during 07 (80-100 hrs/week) and struggled in the summer heat, getting more and more debilitated, despite careful balanced diet, multi-vitamins and water.

Went to a pharmacist who sold me some stuff specifically to replace all the trace elements (not the usual Ca, K, Na, etc), which get diluted out by continuous sweating. 

Felt better in 2 days, right as rain in 4 days. Am getting some more next time I go

What was your 'careful balanced diet' ? Just wondering, as it's always a bit trickier when your backpacking.
17/06/2009 at 09:20
Judy A wrote (see)

' unless you are ill, the body is very good at controlling electrolytes.'

Hmm, am not so sure - well, mine isn't at any rate. I was walking every day in the French Alps during 07 (80-100 hrs/week) and struggled in the summer heat, getting more and more debilitated, despite careful balanced diet, multi-vitamins and water.

Went to a pharmacist who sold me some stuff specifically to replace all the trace elements (not the usual Ca, K, Na, etc), which get diluted out by continuous sweating. 

Felt better in 2 days, right as rain in 4 days. Am getting some more next time I go


My information was really all about the modern tendancy to throw salt (Na Cl) at problems when medical advice is that our diet is already totally oveloaded. Sodium salt overload suppresses the body's ability to deal with other salts and is a proven cause of high blood pressure and other problems.

There are rare medical problems (cretinism, Derbyshire neck) caused by iodine deficiency often suffered most by people who live high and never get seafood. The environment there has been flushed clear of iodine so that their bodies cannot get enough. So other trace elements can be in short supply. But be careful with the Sodium.

17/06/2009 at 18:26

The easy way is dioralyte (or some chemists do their own a bit cheaper...)

But the cheap and simple way is as Trev points out, carry mini measuring spoons and do it locally with sugar & salt if you come down with the Delhi belly...

Here's a good resource on that one

http://rehydrate.org/solutions/homemade.htm

06/07/2009 at 20:37

Back from a couple of weeks of release in the Alps (bliss ), and though I couldn't find what I used in 07, I used some 'Isoxan Forme' which has Mg, Ca, Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu and Se, plus multivits.

The weather was plenty hot and I sweated a lot, but stayed on top of things, and feel great, rather than worn out - so I guess that's a recommendation, if you're bothered about performance loss in the heat.

'What was your 'careful balanced diet' ? Just wondering, as it's always a bit trickier when your backpacking.'

Carbs, some fat, proteins, plenty of fresh fruit and veg, anti-oxidants, little processed food - a good variety of foodstuffs too. I try and buy at markets, supplemented with awkward stuff (e.g. fish) at restaurants.

Cheers Judy

06/07/2009 at 22:19

I think there's a lot of confusion in the above posts. The OP seems to be inquiring about salt replacement for travelling. If you're just sitting in a bus/truck sweating in the heat and drinking water at a fairly normal rate, then diet will probably provide enough salts (K, Mg, Ca as well as Na). But if you've got some sort of stomach bug with attendent fluid loss (from either end), you will need to use electrolyte replacement with your water as food obviously isn't going to be doing it.

The other situation which people seem to be mixing in is exercising, possibly in hot conditions, or at least hotter than you're used to. Your sweat does get less salty as you sweat more (and fitter people sweat more than unfit people as their bodies are better at controlling temperature) but your body does take time to adapt if temperatures are hotter than you're used to exercising in. So once you're getting up over 2 to 3 litres of additional fluid per day, it's unlikely that diet (unless you're overcome with cravings for crisps or olives) will supply the salts you need and you should start thinking about electrolyte replacement. One thing to also bear in mind is that if you're needing to drink several litres of water to cope with heavy exercise, plain, probably warm, water starts to get rather unappetising and some of the flavoured things like Nuun, SiS, or the orange effervescent stuff Judy mentioned, are all likely to increase the palatability of the drink and keep you better hydrated. 

Yes, in general people in the UK do eat too much salt in their diets BUT this is less applicable to people to exercise regularly. And people who eat a careful, non-processed diet (or the sort you might encounter say trekking in Nepal/India) will almost invariably need to make up for salts loss due to exercise, especially in hot weather or if they're doing more than a couple of hours at a time several times a week.

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