>>Beta These were a tester favorite: the first they reached for and the first they polished off. No mixing, mess, or odd aftertaste—just pop ‘em for a burst of sweet flavor. Despite the snack’s density, one tester said she would eat these mid-race. And if they get stuck in your teeth? Well, consider that dessert—saved for later.
How crucial are electrolytes? Your body needs them—sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium—to keep fluids balanced, muscle contractions smooth, nerve impulses firing properly, and energy levels high. Balanced meals usually deliver all the salts your body needs, but after four to five hours of hard, hot-weather hiking, sweat clears away more than meals put back—especially with not-always-balanced backpacking grub.
DIY electrolyte mix recipe
1 gallon water in jug with lid + 1 tsp. salt replacement with potassium + 1 tsp. sea salt + 1 tsp. baking soda + sugar, Kool-Aid, and/or honey to taste
Chug wisely Hikers who drink a lot of water but neglect to replace electrolytes can suffer from low blood sodium concentration (hyponatremia), which can cause cells to swell (including in the brain). If you suspect hyponatremia, move to the shade and eat salty snacks.