The marriage between chloride -- which we mentioned earlier -- and sodium results in what we commonly refer to as salt. Without sodium your body can become dangerously unstable. It sounds unnatural to ingest sodium when all you want is water. But consuming large amounts of water without sodium can cause hyponatremia -- also known as water intoxication.
Sodium, which is available in numerous sports drinks and powders, is often too prevalent in Western foods. But in the days before, during and after an outing in hot, humid conditions, it can actually be quite beneficial [source: McDonald].