I have read on various places that exercising for a prolonged period of time with excessive water intake can be dangerous. It may lead to water intoxication (hyponatremia).
After some searches and a few more articles, it seems that:
When you hike (especially in hot weathers) you sweat a lot. When you sweat your body loose electrolyte (namely sodium potassium calcium... etc) and also a lot of water.
When you drink water, you replace the lost fluid, but NOT the salt/minerals. This means the fluid in your body is diluted and your body functions will be affected (confusion, lost of balance and death in severe cases).
Drinking less water is not an option because of the intense sweating when hiking for 9 hours or so under the hot sun.
An obvious choice was to replace water with sports drink like Gatorade.
Firstly, I don't like sports drink. Secondly, I want to know what is the exact thing my body lost with excessive sweating and needed to be put back into my body.
I am not a chemist/biologist, but from what I read, the term electrolyte is loosely used to refer to a group of minerals. Sodium, potassium, calcium and more.
If I drink salt water, will it help?
If I eat banana (very rich in potassium), will it help?
But then, I am only getting sodium and potassium. Hikers recommend bringing complex carbohydrates and eating them frequently to fuel muscles.
I don't think complex carbs like wheat biscuits provide minerals when digested. They give a steady supply of sugar when digested, but sugar and carbs have nothing to do with body electrolyte balance.
- Eating complex carbohydrates will fuel your body, but it does nothing to restore the electrolyte balance in your body, is this correct?
I weight 105kg and I am 6'2 (189cm), I drank around 5 litres of water in a 7 to 9 hours day-hike. I had some biscuits and 3 bananas, and 1.2 out of the 5 litres of fluid I had was sports drink.
However by the end of the hike I was feeling a slight headache. Was it because I was drinking too much water?
I want to find out what the body looses with excessive sweating, and what are the ways to eat/drink accordingly to replenish the lost substances.