Tip: Protect yourself from dehydration


This cholera patient is drinking oral rehydration solution (ORS) in order to counteract his cholera-induced dehydration.

The cholera patient should be encouraged to drink the Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS).  Even patients who are vomiting can often be treated orally if they take small frequent sips.  Their vomiting will subside when their acidosis is corrected.

Summer is here. Are you physically active in the heat? Fluid loss impairs your performance more than you think. To protect you.

Your body is made to more than two thirds of the water and the water is the medium in which the cell reactions, metabolism and circulation occurs. It is lost from the body as a result of including sweating, exhalation and excretion of waste products in the urine and faces. When you sweat a lot, for example, that you practice or because it is warm, the loss of fluid from the body more than doubled.

Dehydration makes among other things, the blood pressure falls, the blood gets thicker consistency so that the transport of oxygen and nutrients to deteriorate and the body’s ability to regulate its temperature deteriorates. The result is a rapid deterioration in the performance and well being.

Loss of fluid that equals two percent of your body weight, about one and a half litres in case you weigh 70 kg, leading to a measurable impairment of performance.

Loss of fluid equal to three percent of your body weight, about two litres in case you weigh 70 kg, is a severe degree of dehydration which includes the risk of heat stroke is becoming a real threat.

It is not uncommon to sweat out over one and a half litres of fluid per hour during intense exercise, and some athletes, like long-distance runners can lose fluids by up to ten percent of their body weight during the competition.

Performance decreases rapidly when dehydration, in some cases up to 60 percent according to a literature quoted by the Olympic Committee. The abilities return to normal when you reached the normal liquid level again.

Olympic Committee recommends to restore the lost fluids by 120-150 percent. That is, you should drink about one and a half litres of fluid for every litre of sweat. This may mean that a heavy person who trains hard in the hot climate need to drink up to four litres of water or more for hydration during and after training.

All water loss results in a corresponding loss of mineral salts like sodium, potassium and magnesium. These substances are involved in osmotic regulation of the body’s fluid levels and must be replaced through the diet to the fluid levels to be restored.

You can easily estimate your fluid loss in an average session by weighing yourself before and after the workout and see how much you have lost. Remember to take off wet workout clothes and wipe the sweat from the body.

Restore the lost liquid amount to 120-150 percent, that is 1.2 to 1.5 litres of water per kilogram you declined. Remember to also add a supplement of mineral salts that rehydrate , fluid or a commercial sports drink.

There is research that suggests that thirst feelings are not reliable as an indication of the fluid level in the body. Other studies have found the opposite. By weighing yourself before and after exercise can decide if one’s thirst feelings match the current fluid loss.

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