Sea Salt or White Gold?
In ancient times this wouldn't just look like a pile of tiny diamonds, but this would also be closer in value to a pile of diamonds (in West Africa it was nearly equivalent to gold). Salt in those days was harder to come by and appreciated for its value in maintaining vitality and preserving foods. In fact the word 'salary' comes from the latin word 'salarium', which means a payment made in salt. Roman soldiers were typically paid in salt. You can read more about the history of salt here.
Sodium and chloride are essential for life. Without salt our bodies become weak and susceptible to heat stroke and infections. Deficiency typically is not a problem in developed nations, where processed foods are over-fortified with salt. Even if you quit eating processed foods, so long as you eat meat or other animal products you will probably get sufficient sodium. People at risk of sodium deficiency are those who rely on a plant-based diet, while simultaneously keeping to a low-sodium intake, because plants do not contain sufficient sources of sodium. Plant-based foods are great sources of potassium, however, which is another important electrolyte. The typical citizen of developed nations is more at risk for potassium deficiency, because excess sodium intake, as well as excess sugar intake, can interfere with potassium equilibrium. The human body requires about 3 times as much potassium as sodium.
Any imbalance in your stores of sodium, potassium, or chloride -- the three major electrolytes -- becomes apparent during spells of hot weather. Deficiency symptoms are more likely to surface under these extreme conditions. The most easily recognized symptom is propensity for dehydration despite adequate fluid intake. Without adequate electrolyte intake, your body cannot properly absorb water, so it will pass straight through you without rehydrating you. After hours of not hyrdrating properly in hot conditions, your body will enter a state of heat exhaustion, characterized by a headache, nausea, and possibly vomitting. If you suspect you are suffering from an inability to hydrate properly, your quickest remedy is to drink water mixed with Emergen C, drink a sports drink, or make a quick homemade oral rehydration solution (as recommended by the World Health Organization):
In a pint glass add:
2 ½ teaspoons sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt (sea salt is best)
1 ¾ cup water
squeeze of lime or lemon
Stir well to dissolve.
If you suspect you are more deficient in potassium, Emergen C will be your better option because it has twice as much potassium as sodium, although it only contains about 6% of your daily recommened intake of potassium. Otherwise look for potassium salt. Morton makes a potassium chloride salt and I'm sure there are other brands out there as well.