The choice of fluid for resuscitation of the brain-injured patient remains controversial, and the 'ideal' resuscitation fluid has yet to be identified. Large volumes of hypotonic solutions must be avoided because of the risk of cerebral swelling and intracranial hypertension. Traditionally, 0.9% sodium chloride has been used in patients at risk of intracranial hypertension, but there is increasing recognition that 0.9% saline is not without its problems. Roquilly and colleagues show a reduction in the development of hyperchloremic acidosis in brain-injured patients given 'balanced' solutions for maintenance and resuscitation compared with 0.9% sodium chloride. In this commentary, we explore the idea that we should move away from 0.9% sodium chloride in favor of a more 'physiological' solution.