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Salt - don't forget to add it to home-made trail meals

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  • John Ladd
    Two interesting articles about salt came to my attention in the last 2 days - one in the release today of abstracts from Wilderness & Environmental Medicine
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 4, 2012
      Two interesting articles about salt came to my attention in the last 2 days - one in the release today of abstracts from Wilderness & Environmental Medicine and one from the Sunday NY Times

      Background: If you are mostly bringing prepared freeze-dried foods (or electrolyte replacement powders) you will probably get enough salt to avoid health problems, but some people who prepare their own food sometimes get all salt-phobic and add very little or no salt.  In the worst-case scenario (see the case report) you can develop hyponatremia (excessively low sodium levels in blood). Even in less bad scenarios, the lack of sodium is likely to cause cramping in your sleeping bag at night.  

      Case report: Hyponatremia in an 85-Year-Old Hiker: When Depletion Plus Dilution Produces Delirium

      http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(12)00087-7/abstract?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=1080-6032_201206_23_2&elsca4=emergency_medicine 

      This Sunday NY Times article lays out the reasons why one should not get over-concerned about salt. 

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/opinion/sunday/we-only-think-we-know-the-truth-about-salt.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

      I try to add at least 1 tsp of salt per day to homemade things that I pre-measure (e.g., polenta, hummus, tabbouleh, soup mixes, pesto, confits) and carry a small salt shaker and add salt liberally to most meals.  I also add potassium (sold as "Lite Salt")  to the pre-measured items, since potassium is the other critical electrolyte. This avoids my needing electrolyte replacement powders, which others use to provide sodium and potassium lost in exercise.

      Good article on electrolyte replacement from Runners World buy a  dietitian (and runner)


      Includes: "The electrolytes required by our bodies to perform these functions include sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium. ... Sodium and potassium are lost in the greatest amounts via sweat, while magnesium and chloride are lost in only small amounts."

      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      415-648-9279
    • Wilderness
      John - righto! As you know, hiking the Grand Canyon and other desert venues is where most people associate with hyponatremia. Several times, when hiking the
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 4, 2012
        John - righto! As you know, hiking the Grand Canyon and other desert venues is where most people associate with hyponatremia. Several times, when hiking the long day loop of South Kaibab - Tonto - Bright Angel, we have encountered hikers laid out on benches and on tables in the big Cottonwoods recovering slowly from hyponatremia after being fed salty snacks by the GC Rangers.
        The hikers usually report "but Ranger Della, I've been drinking lots of water, just like the guide book says." To which Ranger Della replies - "have you been eating salty snacks?"
        Of course, it, hyponatremia, can happen pretty much on any hike.
        I like salted nuts and salted sesame sticks in the lunch bag. And, like John, I add salt to meals I prepare myself, which is nearly all of them.
        John - Thanks for the reminder. See you on the trail, Rob of the WV

        http://wildernessvagabond.com/reports.htm

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
        >
        > Two interesting articles about salt came to my attention in the last 2 days
        > - one in the release today of abstracts from Wilderness & Environmental
        > Medicine and one from the Sunday NY Times
        >
        > Background: If you are mostly bringing prepared freeze-dried foods (or
        > electrolyte replacement powders) you will probably get enough salt to avoid
        > health problems, but some people who prepare their own food sometimes get
        > all salt-phobic and add very little or no salt. In the worst-case scenario
        > (see the case report) you can develop hyponatremia (excessively low sodium
        > levels in blood). Even in less bad scenarios, the lack of sodium is likely
        > to cause cramping in your sleeping bag at night.
        >
        > Case report: Hyponatremia in an 85-Year-Old Hiker: When Depletion Plus
        > Dilution Produces Delirium
        >
        > http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(12)00087-7/abstract?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=1080-6032_201206_23_2&elsca4=emergency_medicine
        >
        >
        > This Sunday NY Times article lays out the reasons why one should not get
        > over-concerned about salt.
        >
        > http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/opinion/sunday/we-only-think-we-know-the-truth-about-salt.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
        >
        > I try to add at least 1 tsp of salt per day to homemade things that I
        > pre-measure (e.g., polenta, hummus, tabbouleh, soup mixes, pesto, confits)
        > and carry a small salt shaker and add salt liberally to most meals. I also
        > add potassium (sold as "Lite Salt") to the pre-measured items, since
        > potassium is the other critical electrolyte. This avoids my needing
        > electrolyte replacement powders, which others use to provide sodium and
        > potassium lost in exercise.
        >
        > Good article on electrolyte replacement from Runners World buy a
        > dietitian (and
        > runner)
        >
        > http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=18090
        >
        > Includes: "The electrolytes required by our bodies to perform these
        > functions include sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
        > ... Sodium
        > and potassium are lost in the greatest amounts via sweat, while magnesium
        > and chloride are lost in only small amounts."
        >
        > John Curran Ladd
        > 1616 Castro Street
        > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
        > 415-648-9279
        >
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