about rehydration

Despite the fact that dehydration is 100% preventable, it is one of the most frequently diagnosed and treated concerns in emergency rooms. You see, water is one of the body’s most important nutrients. Not only does it make up more than half of our bodies, but also is responsible for regulating body temperature and helping our body with waste removal, oxygen distribution and organ function. Normal daily activities alone typically result in the loss of 10 cups of fluid. Increased physical activity and illness place an even greater strain on the body’s water supply. Failure to supply the body with the water it needs causes dehydration, resulting in everything from loss of energy and lethargy to constipation and muscle cramping.

know the facts

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  • salt concentration is an important consideration when comparing rehydration beverages
  • the primary impetus for rehydration is sodium-chloride replacement, but minerals such as potassium, are important in restoring intracellular hydration.
  • in addition to replacing the sodium lost in perspiration, the presence of sodium in a hydration beverage stimulates thirst, which leads to more fluid consumption and more efficient rehydration.
  • since water cannot replace the minerals lost during exercise-induced sweating, it is advisable to consume a supplement which contains electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and calcium before and after strenuous exercise.
  • to help prevent dehydration, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children with diarrhea be given a commercial rehydration fluid within four to six hours after an episode.
  • alcohol causes the loss of sodium and water in the kidneys, and is therefore a major contributing factor in dehydration.
  • even low levels of dehydration have physiological consequences, including reduced performance and impaired judgement time, concentration and decision-making.

 

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sodium is…good?

When it comes to rehydration, there’s one important factor that many overlook — sodium. Yes, sodium...as in salt. We know, when it comes to health, salt has become a bad word. However, sodium is an electrolyte and does have its purposes in the human body. One of those is to aid in water retention, because sodium is the mechanism by which water is absorbed by the kidneys. When the body loses water, through perspiration, urination and respiration, it also loses sodium, and that loss of sodium results in even further depletion of the body’s water supply. Therefore, efficient rehydration requires sodium.