Athletes should never take salt tablets because they:
- Don't help performance
- Contribute to dehydration by causing extra water to enter the stomach and drawing it away from other body tissues,
- Increase the risk of heat illness; and
- Irritate the stomach lining and can cause nausea
Heat cramps are likely caused by losses of water and electrolytes (salt and potassium) from excessive sweating. The priority for any athlete should be to replace that water and electrolytes, such as by drinking a sports drink.