Why You Need Salt To Hydrate Properly

Why You Need Salt To Hydrate Properly

Updated: Jun 24, 2024Veronika Larisova

When you exercise, your body’s core temperature rises, and you lose fluid and electrolytes through sweat. The hotter it is, the faster your body temperature increases and the more you sweat. If you don’t drink enough liquids and don’t consume enough salts, you will end up dehydrated.

Dehydration not only hinders your physical and mental performance, it can also lead to cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. This is because when you are dehydrated, your sweat rate, heat dissipation, skin blood flow and blood volume all decrease while your core temperature and the rate of your muscle glycogen use increase.

It gets worse when it’s hot and humid as your sweat doesn’t evaporate very efficiently due to the humidity, and your body’s ability to cool down is compromised even further.

Dehydration facts:

  • Fluid loss of even just 5% of body weight during exercise may decrease your performance capacity by roughly 30%
  • 2% of fluid loss impairs the functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems, physiological adaptations, and thermoregulation, thus affecting fitness and athletic performance. For example, it can reduce running performance by 10-20% and lead to fatigue, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal problems.
  • 5% body weight fluid loss will decrease HIIT exercise capacity by up to 45%
  • Healthy skin contains between 10-20% water. Skin dehydration (anything less than 10%) is one of the main reasons for premature skin aging and sensitivity.

Practical Tips

Hydrate and have enough salt.

Drink water at room temperature and add a little pink salt to it. You don't need expensive electrolyte drinks unless you are racing or training hard.

Remember that your body can only assimilate 500ml of water per hour or up to 1L in extreme heat conditions and exercise effort. Don’t wait until you are thirsty; that signifies dehydration. You need to SIP throughout the day and the session. Sculling down one litre of water in one go will result in frequent loo visits instead of adequately hydrating you.

Weigh yourself.

Weigh yourself before and after a workout to see how well you are hydrated. Ideally, your weight should be about the same. If you lost 2% of your body weight or more, you haven’t drunk enough.

Choose your clothing wisely.

Wear white or light-coloured loose-fit clothing designed for training. It must be light, breathable (think mesh panels), and made from materials that quickly evaporate sweat.  Moisture-wicking materials such as bamboo draw the sweat away from the skin and help quick evaporation, keeping you drier and cooler.

Cool down before training.

Act like an athlete and use pre-cooling strategies before exercise to regulate body temperature and improve exercise performance.  To maintain adequate hydration and thermoregulation during training or competition, athletes use different tactics to reduce the thermal strain, such as cold air exposure, cold plunge (2–20°C), exposure to ice, or ice products (iced towels, iced garments like ice vests and/or neck cooling collars), and air inhalation. And even an icy drink can do the trick, as suggested in this science review. This doesn’t mean you should ditch your warm-up. Warming up your joints and muscles at a low intensity is important for optimal performance and injury prevention.

Chief Pre-Workout Ice-Slurry



Drink it 30min before training.


Veronika Larisova
Co-Founder, Registered Nutritionist, Exercise Physiologist



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