Nor Any A Drop To Drink

In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the poet complains "Water, water everywhere, Nor any a drop to drink". It is fairly common knowledge among seafaring folk not to drink seawater, yet, people consume sea salt all the time, so it's not that it is poisonous in itself. Rather, the danger is in the balance between the salts and minerals and water in your body getting to far out of whack. This isn't just an issue on the open ocean, you can be sweating in the desert, eating snow, drinking gallons of distilled water, or just not eating and this can be a problem. Muscle cramps are frequently the first sign, but this can lead to death. You lose electrolytes through your sweat and urine, and they need to be replaced; they are a far higher priority than calories, which your body is better able to store.

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