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Is it safe to add salt to a sports drink?

You can add salt to a sports drink, but it may not taste very good! Sports drinks do not contain as much salt as your body loses through sweat, so more salt will help replace normal electrolyte loss and will help you prevent muscle cramps.
Salt or sodium is required for most body functions and is lost through sweating during exercise. Sodium helps the body retain water to stay hydrated. Sodium also increases thirst, encouraging you to drink more. Most sports drinks already contain small to moderate amounts of sodium. Adding more sodium to a sports drink may also aid hydration during activity and recovery, but it might also alter the flavor.

If you have a medical condition, you should check with your doctor first before adding extra sodium to your diet or fluids.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Appalachian State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.