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WHY TO SALT YOUR WATER: Salt is required by our bodies for optimum health. While we can add it to our food, should we also be adding it to our water? After exercise and during hot weather, the answer is, Yes.
Why to salt your water: A balance of electrolytes
Called Hyponatremia, the Weston A. Price Foundation informs us,
Studies have confirmed the importance of a balance of electrolytes: sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. When the body loses electrolytes in perspiration or when suffering diarrhea, serious consequences ensue. Likewise, when we drink only water after exercise, the usual electrolyte balance is not restored and “water intoxication” or hyponatremia occurs…If you are thirsty for water—plain or sparkling—be sure to add a pinch of salt to it. Otherwise the body simply gets rid of the water as fast as possible so as not to further dilute low salt levels. If you are using unrefined salt, you will be taking in small amounts of magnesium, and even calcium and potassium, as well.
Interestingly enough, soft drinks, while being an unhealthy mix of ingredients, do provide sodium. This one quality makes them beneficial to rehydrate the body after a sweaty workout. But we needn’t consume the rest of soda’s negative ingredients to get the one thing we’re after!
Easy solutions for salting your water
- I carry sea salt in my purse for whenever I need it. Small tins are perfect for using at restaurants or in waiting rooms when you’re thirsty but don’t have your water bottle handy. (Simply sprinkle sea salt from the tin into your cup of water, and stir.)
- This 4-pack of Redmond Real Salt is also a good option that will even fit in a pocket.
- Make homemade electrolyte drinks, and bring them with you in a water bottle. (See recipes below.)
- This DIY Electrolyte Powder is excellent. Often as we’re headed out the door to my son’s soccer or basketball practice we put a scant teaspoon into his water bottle (and give it a shake to dissolve).
DIY Electrolyte Beverages
Fermented beverages provide sodium. Lacto-fermented sodas and beet kvass are great examples of good ways to hydrate. We often make an electrolyte beverage for my daughter who dances: It’s just filtered water, Celtic sea salt, fresh minced ginger and apple cider vinegar — easy and helpful.
Here’s the link to my Beet Kvass recipe.
And here are a few other favorites:
If you haven’t made switchel before, it’s SO easy and fast. Switchel is the perfect hydrating beverage for summer time or after physical exertion.
Here’s our general Electrolyte Drink recipe:
- Place the following ingredients into a water bottle:
- 3 cups filtered water, preferably warm or room temperature
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons maple syrup, or up to 10 drops stevia, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon potassium chloride
- Put the lid on and shake it vigorously to dissolve the honey.
- Add the following optional ingredients, as desired:
- 2 to 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 Tablespoon basil seeds (My son loves this version.)
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne (I like it this way; but it’s too spicy for most kids.)
Or, enjoy this Basil Seed Electrolyte Drink.
We no longer use liquid minerals as a source of sodium, as we once did. The reason is: They contain minerals our bodies don’t need more of, that we get enough of from our food, minerals like boron. So instead, we supplement individually with just the minerals we need.
Sea salt and potassium chloride are the most important in water.
That makes a lot of sense. I’m going to start making sure my husband gets some in his water when he’s working out.
Megan Stevens says
This is great – i definitely feel the need to replenish like this after strenuous work.
Megan Stevens says
Me too, I needed this reminder myself. 🙂
Andrea Fabry says
I have beet kvass in the fridge. You’ve inspired me to drink more of it!
How We Flourish says
Makes sense. I know I don’t get enough salt/electrolytes in my diet. Thanks for sharing!
Carol Terney Federoff says
Interesting! Well, I’ll give it a shot!
Raine Saunders says
Great recipe Megan, looks wonderful. Thank you for sharing! I love homemade electrolyte drinks!
One of the things I do daily now, as recommended by the practitioner I’m consulting with for the iodine protocol I’m using is to take salt in capsules daily. She believes that we absorb the minerals more effectively in capsules than any other form of salt consumption. One thing I will say about this is that if you haven’t ever done it, starting out very slow is key. The first few times I did this I felt very sick to my stomach. Apparently, the way to go is to put a small amount of salt in a capsule, such as about 1/4 full, and work your way up. My practitioner says that if you feel ill when taking salt, working up slowly is important and that we all need those minerals in the salt for detox, and usually more than we think we do.
For halide detox, Himalayan salt is very important. I am now on a regular dose of 3 capsules of salt on an empty stomach in the a.m. and when I remember to take it at night before bed, 3 more. I took a break on my iodine protocol when we went on our family vacation recently, so I’m getting back to that this week! 🙂
Megan Stevens says
Wow, Raine! Thank you for sharing!! I haven’t heard of this! I’m glad you’ve connected with such a helpful practitioner!
Jennifer Galvin says
Not to be rude, I respect your choices, but I don’t understand why you can’t just eat the salt in your food. Also I do take seaweed supplement for my thyroid which has a lot of iodine, but sea salt and himilayan salt do not have iodine. I use sea salt for the trace minerals and seaweed for the iodine. It just sounds strange to be going through the effort of making and swallowing more pills than neccessary. But maybe there is something I don’t understand fully about it.
Thank you for this! So timely, as I have recently started working out a lot more regularly since I now have my energy back thanks to iodine! This is perfect!
Megan Stevens says
Yay for iodine and for you having your energy back! 🙂 You’re welcome. 🙂
Good article! Thanks. You mentioned both Real Salt and Celtic Sea Salt. Is one better than the other? I’ve made my own electrolyte drinks on occasion, and have used Redmond Real Salt for years. I’ve read several of your articles and appreciate your research and attention to the research and the details, as well as your swimming upstream on current dietary dictates.
Hi Sharon, thank you for your kind comments. I personally have always gravitated toward Celtic Sea Salt, but I do understand there are concerns about ocean pollution affecting its purity. With Redmond Real Salt, you don’t have that risk, and it does absorb well. Still, somehow, I still prefer Celtic. So, it’s a matter of intuition and personal preference based on those issues and the ones presented in the article. I also take a detox spray which perhaps makes me feel more comfortable — I know we are all exposed to a myriad of micro-contaminants daily. If I am exposed to slightly more due to the Celtic, I believe the spray I use helps my body to detox effectively. I hope that helps.
Tina W says
Would you mind sharing a link to your detox spray? Thanks very much.
Sure, Tina. https://meganstevens.mycoseva.com From the home page, you’ll need to click the Shop Now button. The product is called Advanced TRS. (The company recommends: Start the first day with 1 spray, then increase each day, assuming no major detox symptoms, gradually by 1 spray each day until you reach 5 sprays daily, 2 in the morning, 3 at night.)
cindy meuse says
Do you drink only water that contains some sea salt in it?
No, good question. I used to drink only water with minerals added, but since then I started making 50/50 salt to cook with, which is half sea salt and half potassium chloride. I use this on my food, to get more minerals all the time, the main ones I need; (and I take magnesium, zinc etc as supplements). So I no longer add sea salt to all my water. I do it after I’ve exercised.
Jennifer Galvin says
Hi, I like your articles. I have been wracking my brain trying to research about water filtration. I recently got a Reverse Osmosis filter, only to realize that it makes the water very acidic like ph of 5, and when adding trace minerals it only goes up to 5.5. So I just bought a remineralizer filter to add to the system. I ended up going with an expensive one that supposedly adds coral calcium, magnesium and has trace minerals as well. I have spent over 5 hours researching and everyone says different things about the topic of acidity and minerals etc. Do you have any articles on this topic or know of anyone who does. What water filtration system do you use?
Hi Jennifer, I know; it’s so time consuming and confusing. I actually went with my doctor’s research and opinion on this. We chose this reverse osmosis filter, on his recommendation: https://amzn.to/3yy0u76 Regarding minerals, I have changed my perspective (not from this article, but from what it used to be) after reading his work for the last 4 years and increasingly following his advice, which always turns out to be correct and beneficial. He does not advise adding calcium, as he believes our bodies adjust calcium on their own when we take Mg, vitamin K and potassium (different needs for different bodies, though, with this mineral) and get light (which produces vitamin D and causes detox). I do recommend all his writing, which is available in a forum called Love Your Liver, or I believe you can access all his YouTube videos for free. He knows SO much, and his videos (especially the most recent in the last year) are just full of helpful information. Re Mg, I get this from lotion and take it orally. Each person is different on how best they absorb it and how much they need. Some people really benefit from Mg baths. But getting it in water is minuscule by comparison, so I don’t worry about adding it to my water. Re acidity, I went down that rabbit trail for a while and ended up feeling it wasn’t a beneficial focus. The only thing I’ve continued to be aware of is the pH of my stomach for digestion. After working with Dr. Smith, I no longer need much digestive support, but if I have a big meal, I’ll occasionally use ACV to support a more acidic stomach. As you may know, an acidic stomach is ideal for digestion. The pH of our reverse filtration water does not affect me, except that my health has only improved since using it. I hope that helps. Here’s Dr. Smith’s YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/nutritiondetective