Again, thanks for your responses.
Roger: yeah, a liter an hour is what I decided I'd like to aim for this season; I've never actually achieved that. But many consider that kind of water intake to be standard in the conditions that a hiker in the Sierra encounters. I'll take your point that it may be overkill. On your side, however: 2-3 liters per day, total? That seems a bit low. Anyway, it's not a competition. I'm older than you and maybe hike at higher elevations; not as fit, although I'm not a schlub. Maybe this accounts for the difference. Older, less fit bodies doubtless require more water than you and your mate.
I by no means am doing endurance hikes. And as I wrote in my earlier posts, I've never really bonked from salt loss. I just thought, for $8.25 for a bottle, these electrolyte capsules might be a good deal. Rex has certainly found them to be helpful.
Others on this forum have written in their favor.
Here's an excerpt from the article Greg referenced:
"For aerobic-endurance athletes, it is reasonable to plan on an
intake of up to a maximum of one gram (1,000 milligrams) of
sodium per liter of fluid loss. This is about one-half teaspoon of salt.
Cyclists may have a relatively easy time ingesting sodium
snacks. Triathletes can ingest salt snacks while cycling. Runners tend
to have finished their event before trouble with sodium sets in.
Walkers, in the heat for many hours,are the most at risk, especially
if they rely only on gels and water for their event nutrition.
Here is another reason for consuming salt: It helps the body
Again, I'm not an athlete in an event, just a regular backpacker. Still maybe a couple of capsules weighing about .008 oz per day may help me feel better. Maybe not! My wallet will survive.
Greg, I'm curious as to whether water loss through breathing is taken into account in this study. It's hard to picture a liter of sweat, but if you include water loss through breathing as well, it adds up.