Sports drinks with sodium make you hydrated, but we all know you can’t drink salty sea water because you’ll get dehydrated. Why?

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Sports drinks with sodium make you hydrated, but we all know you can’t drink salty sea water because you’ll get dehydrated. Why?

In: Biology

The body needs some salt to maintain the required balance within your cells, but too much salt will mean the body needs to shed water to get rid of it. Seawater is way too salty while sports drinks tend to aim at replacing salts lost through sweat, a much lesser amount.

A take on this question was asked a couple of weeks back.

Essentially, our body needs sodium. We normally get enough in the food we eat, but athletes can sweat out large amounts (from our body’s perspective) of sodium while performing. The amount of salt in a sports drink aims to match this level. It is formulated to replenish the sodium lost through sweat over half a US football game for the average NFL player.

Sea water contains many many times more salt. So much so that our body needs to use its water reserves to flush the salt out of our bodies, because the water consumed with the salt isn’t enough to fully flush it out of our kidneys.

As a result, you’ve got less usable water in you after drinking ocean level salt water than before.

Are you seriously saying that you think sodium is the same thing as salt?