Have you ever felt dehydrated after drinking water? It’s an annoying feeling—and one that you’ve probably ignored from time to time knowing you were getting the “8 glasses of water a day” recommended.
If you’ve ever felt like you just can’t drink enough water to feel really quenched, you may be missing a surprising element: salt. The truth about good hydration is that it requires more than just H20 alone—the body needs electrolytes.
We’ve been learning all about this topic with biochemist and NYT best-selling author, Robb Wolf. Robb is a member of the Navy SEAL resiliency committee and co-founder of LMNT, a functional electrolyte drink mix that’s honestly changed our approach to hydration completely. We pack it on trips, include it in our beach and night out recovery kits, and have recommended it to more friends than perhaps any partner we’ve ever had on the site.
Robb is on a mission to re-educate people about hydration, more specifically, about the body’s need for SALT—something most of us perceive as the ultimate de-hydrator. According to Robb, we should be paying as much attention to our electrolytes as we do our food.
We’ve been partnering with the salty brand for years now, because we just can’t stop talking about it to friends and family. It also comes up over dinners out with friends, because it’s the ultimate hangover support. Even if you’re not prone to hangovers, a glass of water with LMNT is our go-to rejuvenator the morning after a big dinner out or a day spent in the sun.
LMNT doesn’t contain any sugar, just a salty blend of minerals that leave us feeling hydrated beyond anything we’ve ever tried.
Here’s the science on hydration + electrolytes according to Robb…
We’re often told to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but when you drink plain water beyond thirst, it can actually dilute blood electrolyte levels. You lose both water and sodium when you sweat. Both need to be replaced to prevent muscle cramps, headaches, and energy dips that result from:
01. Dehydration (less common)
02. Low electrolytes (more common)
Most people only replace the water. Why? Because since the 1940s, we’ve been told to drink 8 glasses of water a day, thirsty or not.
Both water and sodium need to be replaced when we sweat to prevent muscle cramps, headaches, and energy dips. Low-sodium symptoms actually mimic dehydration symptoms, so people often get confused and drink more water.
Hydration is about proper fluid balance and for that the body needs electrolytes. Electrolytes are charged minerals that conduct electricity to power your nervous system. and regulate hydration status by balancing fluids inside and outside your cells.
Many of us tend not to get enough sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Preventing these shortfalls can prevent muscle cramps, fatigue, and a range of other symptoms.
Over-hydrating without replenishing electrolytes can dilute blood sodium levels—in the worst cases, causing hyponatremia with symptoms like headaches, cramps, confusion and fatigue.
Maintaining Healthy Electrolyte Levels requires eating plenty of salt and taking a stick or two of LMNT.
The evidence points to 5000 mg sodium, 4700 mg potassium, and 600 mg magnesium per day from diet and supplements [*][*][*]. For those who have high activity levels, intake may need to go up an additional 50-100%. Each stick of LMNT contains 1000 mg sodium, 200 mg potassium, and 60 mg magnesium.
Does all that salt sound a bit shocking to you? A 2011 JAMA study actually found that 5 grams per day was the sweet spot for heart health outcomes. We actually have a lot to say about salt and your heart health HERE.
Electrolytes: Did You Know?
Healthy electrolyte levels are crucial for brain health, heart health, hormonal health, immunity, and many other indications. Did you know:
+ Drinking beyond thirst during exercise can cause hyponatremia (low serum sodium). The primary cause of hyponatremia in athletes is drinking too much water. This especially effects endurance athletes.*
+ Athletes lose significant sodium through sweat—up to 7 grams per day in warm climates.
+ Inadequate potassium may hamper muscle gains. Sodium and magnesium are also important for muscle function.*
+ Sports drinks usually include a lot of sugar, but electrolytes and water don’t require glucose to pass through the gut.
+ Low-carbers often don’t get enough sodium. You excrete more sodium through urine in a low-carb, low-insulin state.
+ “Keto flu” symptoms include headaches, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Increasing sodium intake often helps reduce the symptoms for ketotarians in our community.
Feel the LMNT difference:
Try LMNT for deep hydration you can really feel. The electrolyte drink mix is designed to deeply hydrate and replenish electrolytes for a full body effect that is truly quenching. TCM readers can try LMNT for free so you understand what we’re talking about—just pay $5 for the cost of U.S. shipping for their sampler pack. Mix flavors like Citrus Salt, Watermelon Salt or Mango Chili into a glass of water for everything you need and nothing you don’t—that means plenty of salt and no sugar
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This story is brought to you in partnership with LMNT. From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers special offers. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.