I think you misunderstand a bit...I am not disagreeing that there is quite a bit of profit-centered misinformation out there. What I AM saying is that, regardless of the work of a single scientist working desperately to counteract the goliaths of the energy drink world, there is a glut of real randomized, controlled data out there. And as a scientist, that's really the only evidence that should be considered for altering best practices in medicine. That is not at all saying that other types of scientific evidence (case studies, etc) should be wholly discounted...of course not. But that type of work should be considered a starting point for further research and for pondering various theories. One of the biggest problems in medicine is the clinician who relies solely on anecdotal evidence (I've seen it! I know it!) and does not have true randomized, controlled data to back that up. Remember, we "knew" bleeding people worked, and we "saw" that leeches healed!! It made perfect sense that we should give all menopausal women hormone replacement therapy!
And not to be a science snob, but it is well known that books do not even remotely register as contributing to the scientific body of evidence. They take too long to publish (thus not terribly timely), they are not peer reviewed and anyone can publish anything...it does not have to be true. I am saying this having not read the book, but my first response is that if he has such great, profound evidence, then he should publish in a high impact journal and put his ideas out there for public discussion and argument.
I did a rather exhaustive literature search of hyponatremia and exercise-associated collapse (EAC) and found rather consistent incidences throughout the literature...usually around 2% of participants. There seem to be risk factors, including low body weight, being female and taking NSAIDs (which can alter kidney function). And yes, I absolutely include hikers in these categories; the point is that anyone who exerts himself over prolonged periods of time is at risk and needs to pay attention to hydration status. Dehydration can kill, over hydration can kill. And, as current best practice (which honestly is based on the most solidly available data right now) says, drink when you are thirsty and replace salts and potassium if you are sweating a lot. That can be in your drink, or in your snacks. Just ingest it...
I may have to get the book just to see why some of you are so, um, enthusiastic about this.