Best Ways to Stay Hydrated When Water is Not Enough

Even the young and athletic can suffer from dehydration. During a CPR class the instructor relayed a story about how she found her then teenage sun sprawled lifeless on their basketball court. He had been playing ball all day in the sun and had not had enough to drink and he had gone into cardiac arrest. Luckily his mother, a nurse, found him and time and performed CPR.

Although this is an extreme case of what can happen with dehydration, it is imperative that people of all ages from babies to teen to adults and seniors stay hydrated. According to Medline, infants and children are “more susceptible to dehydration than adults because of their smaller body weights and higher turnover of water.” People with illnesses and seniors are also at a higher risk for dehydration than healthy adults.

If you wait until you’re thirsty, you’ve waited too long to drink. When you drink less fluid than you use you are dehydrated. Some signs of dehydration include feeling dizzy and lightheaded, having a dry or sticky mouth, producing less urine and darker urine, feeling lethargic or having sunken eyes.

The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink enough fluids. There are times when water is just not enough. There are times when your body also needs electrolytes, for example while playing sports, on hot and humid days, days at the beach or other locations where you are in sun and exerting energy and during exercise.

Electrolytes

There are minerals that help body fluid levels in the body and they are called electrolytes. Organs including the heart and muscles need them in order to function correctly. Electrolytes are lost through sweat and need to be replenished by drinking fluids. For athletic activities carbohydrates also need to be replaced.

There is a reason that Gatorade has been around since 1967. It works. Created by a University of Florida assistant coach and a team of university physicians, they were tasked to figure out why so many of the players were being affected by heat and heat related illnesses. They determined that the players were losing valuable electrolytes and fluids during play that were not being replaced. Along with the fluids and electrolytes, a large amount of carbohydrates were being used and also not being replaced, draining the players of their energy. They invented a beverage which precisely balanced carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage” to replace key components lost by the through sweat caused by exercise. (Gatorade.com)

Even on a hot day when you are not exercising Gatorade is a satisfying thirst quencher. Current lines in the Gatorade brand include Rain, Lemonade, Original, X-Factor, Xtremo and Fierce, each with their own flavors. Especially tasty are Berry and Watermelon Ice.

For those trying not to consumer any sugar with their rehydration drinks, and do not mind the taste of Splenda, Gatorade’s Propel Fitness Water is for you. Propel is very low in calories, fat free, contains multiple B-Vitamins and is lightly flavored. When it first came out Propel flavors were limited to original Gatorade flavors of orange and a very bitter lemon which had a strong aftertaste of artificial sweetener. Now Propel comes in delicious Grape and even a Melon flavor, both of which have very little aftertaste. The newest addition to the Propel family are flavors (Mango, Mandarin Orange and Mixed Berry) which also contain calcium.

If you’re looking for enhanced water without any added flavors, try Glaceau’s Smart Water. It may be available in the health food section of your local grocer or at a nearby health food store. Smart Water is basically distilled water with added electrolytes and is formulated for rapid hydration without adding calories or sodium.

Basically, it is a matter of taste. There are plent of other sports drinks and fluid replacement drinks out there. Try one, try many, just remember to drink up. It is also best to avoid coffee, tea, alcohol and soda while exercising or if you are out in the heat for an extended time.

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