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Sports drinks

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Worth repeating from an earlier BobM post:

Sufficient water intake and electrolyte replacement is very important, but don't waste your money on expensive commercial products.

If walking at high altitudes, I can justify making up and carrying my own ORS, but not on the camino (weight limitations).

I mix 1tspn "low sodium" salt with 6 tspns of plain white sugar per litre of water. For a 2 - 3 week trip that means 2 kg sugar and about one little container of salt. My supermarket sells "low sodium" salt, which is just potassium chloride and sodium chloride. The sodium/potassium ratio is important for cell metabolism, but if not available, ordinary salt is better than nothing.

Glucose would also be better than plain sugar because it gets into the blood stream faster than sucrose (which has to be metabolised first), but glucose powder is more expensive and possibly not as readily available as sugar.

Don't fall for the hype about magnesium and all those other magical salts in commercial sports/energy drinks. Sure, they are important over time, but the main thing about ORS is getting energy and Na/K into the body.

The taste is actually quite OK, but sometimes I toss in some orange flavoured Staminade as a little luxury.

Have a look at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_rehydration_solution
(or Google "oral rehydration solutons"). The Wikipedia entry is about life-saving ORS when dysentry strikes children in very poor countries, but it gives the principles which are also relevant for hikers in hot conditions.
 

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