November 12th, 2019
What Ever Happened To [...] #1035
Friday May 9th, 2014
[Happy Mothers' Day to all the, um, non-rolled-reefer "mothers" out there! Back in my day, we used to find small groups to sit around and say, "Fire that mother up!" But we weren't talking about human motherhood. Which reminds: Does "Happy Mothers' Day" include the entire mammalian kingdom as well? Don't wolves, for example, have mothers? Bears? Coyotes? Even deer? All of which, by the way, have reluctantly entered the government-provided housing that surrounds my house in the suburbs. It's like "Wild Kingdom" here! Maybe I should just step out on the stoop this Sunday and shout: "Happy Mamas' Day to all you horrible infesting woodsy critters now eating up my garage!! I've left a special 'treat' for you underneath the junk tires!"
[But I digress. Today we need to talk about… science. Nutritional pseudoscience. Or, as it's known in some circles: marketing blarney.]
Never mind which presidential administraction is responsible for presenting…
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO [salt tablets] ?
Indeed. For twenty thousand years whenever peeps were outpouring water out of their pores and/or otherwise being in danger of dying--or at least slowing down, severely--in the heat, nobody ever went online to order electrolytes. No. They went to the store and bought salt tablets.
There's some right now in the bathroom medicine cabinet. They don't even have an expiration date. No, salt was invented before there were those kinds of dates. We think maybe the ancient Egyptians used slave labor to concoct salt tablets from the salt mines underneath where they later built all those big silly stone pointy things. Again, with slave labor. But by then those slaves were damn glad to have previously worked underground to make all the salt tablets--which, slaving away there in the heat, they simply popped down their throats and began feeling better.
What ever happened to salt mines? Ah, I think Morton owns 'em all. In the ancient days when I went to school, there was in fact a whole town named for 'em: Morton, Illinois. If I'm not mistaken, there's at least one person reading this who knows that. Morton is near Peoria and, I gotta think, large bottles of salt tablets are still available in that area's drug stores.
Salt tablets. Right. So simple even a slave could take. They're white (yes, not all slaves were colorful) and they're little and round and come in a bottle. The directions generally indicate taking one or two as needed. On the label of this particular bottle here, it says the following. "Suggested Use: One tablet with a full glass of water, five to ten times daily, depending on temperatures and working conditions."
This has been "best practice" since just after the dinosaurs. (Incidentally, those gigantic reptiles probably died out because of having no salt to take during the heat, except for all the sweaty littler creatures on their food chain down-line which they could eat. But of course sweat alone isn't enough, which is why those first Egyptian cave people invented salt in the first place, and later manufactured and marketed it in quantity, courtesy of the Hebrews. Question: is salt kosher? Hmmm… actually I think it is, but I know very few Jews who dump it excessively on their food.)
And by the way, whatever happened to "heat prostration"? Lordy, that term was also used for 20,000 years. THAT's what everybody USED to call what all these modern-day geniuses now refer to as "electrolyte imbalance." But again, I digress.
So. What ever happened to salt, anyway--especially tablets? It's now: electrolytes, spectrolytes, zippolytes, zoom-o-lytes, lytes that turn themselves on and off when you clap, endure-a-lytes, endure-a-lytes lite, c-caps, g-caps, d-caps, every-other-letter-in-the-alphabet-caps, ensureolytes, megalytes, gigalytes, flashalytes (no batteries necessary) and of course any or all of the following "brand" names: X-cede, Hexseed, Recede, Rexseed, Re-seed, Lexseed, Nextseed, Sackseed, Hacksawed, aXcede, Raxsede, Accede, LaXseed, MAXceed, Sumseed, Sipsede, Sicceed, Lumpsede, and Suc! You fill in the rest.
These things all have various marketing gimcracks like: Take one or two every hour during your ultra (or actually during nearly everything you do outdoors that works up a sweat, except making love, of course, for which there are about a sextillion MORE products online ;) and, if you do this and thereby consume damn near AN ENTIRE JUG of the stuff, you'll be almost (but not quite) guaranteed by the manufacturer to feel better. You won't DIE. And when it's all over, your extremities won't swell up as much either.
Years ago, those of us slaving away during our hot summer jobs, for example, just popped us a salt tab. On the other hand, someone fainting on Sunday during a hot ("fire and brimstone," eh?) church service would be given "smelling salts"--whatever the heck they were. Most everybody else just swallowed the salt--instead of sniffing it--then headed out for a beer.
And cheap! A whole gigantic bottle of the stuff might set you back a buck and a half. Nowadaze... some of these Chumpseeds online could cost a buck apiece!
And for what? What do you get in a cool, groovy, ergodynamic, easy-to-hold-squeeze-and-swallow "gel cap" that you can't get from a salt chunk? A tablet that looks like aspirin instead of what looks like the cyanide issued to spies to take when captured so as to preserve their nation's war secrets? Is there ever anything OTHER than, like, 452 milligrams of sodium frickin' chloride inside a Z-cap???
Wait! Here's something: On the label of this very salt tablet bottle just now retrieved from the bathroom, it says: "Chloride (as sodium AND potassium chloride)"--who knew?--AND "Sodium (as sodium chloride)" AND "Potassium (as potassium chloride)"--all combined to make one 452 mg tablet. Whoa. That's actually a list of three wholly different ways of repeating the same dang thang.
Salt IS sodium chloride! Check your friendly neighborly Periodic Chart of the Elements. Other kinds of chloride? I give, what? To me, it's like other kinds of chlorine added to swimming pool water. Hey, we can still swim in it, right?
So, for comparison's sake, let's also have a look at the label of the "high priced" salt. The, um, electrolyte-balancing-act thingamajiggies. I happen to have one. Here's what it says: "Serving Size - 1 Capsule. Amount per Serving … Sodium 341 mg; Potassium 21 mg." Boom. That's about it. And via my whiz-bangery math, if you add 'em together you get a capsule of 362 milligrams, which is, like, even 90 whole milligrams SHORT of a plain old salt tablet!!!
Man, you're gettin' even LESS for your money! You ain't even gettin' as much spending all your megadollars on Giggly-caps as you do forking over a few bucks for salt chunks.
Salt licks? Hey, the deer love 'em. Maybe instead of buying ANY kinds of friggin' electrolytic conveyances, we should just all buy salt in bulk, drape it around our necks during races, and LICK IT! Ya think?
Maybe I'll just go ask the deer in my back yard what their preference is: salt tabs or anything-caps? Then maybe… THEY could tell me the difference?
( O_O )
"your sweaty friendly 800-year-old lute-plucking animal-serenading song-and-dance Frenchie who's willing to be licked, but only if you're female and think it'll help ya"
Yankee Folly of the Day:
With all these droughts, sweeping forest fires, and weather catastrophes about to drive food prices even higher than electrolyte replacements, maybe suburban infestations of all kinds of backyard critters is a good source of groceries.
May 11th, 2014 11:40 am
May 11th, 2014 11:42 am
November 12th, 2019 7:33 am
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