A few weeks ago, on an unusually hot 90 degree day, my 90 year old mom ended up in the ER from very low blood pressure and heart rate. She was listless, had garbled speech, was barely breathing. As soon as we walked into the receiving area she was swarmed by nurses and a doc, hooked up to machinery, blood drawn, EKG, etc. It was a most impressive display of emergency medicine.
An hour later, after receiving a small bag of IV Fluids, she was sitting up, talking and ready to go home. We were all amazed because even the attending doctor feared she was close to death.
I tell this story to illustrate the powerful effect of hydration…or conversely, dehydration! Even a little bit can cause profound fatigue, irregular heartbeat, weakness and brain fog.
Oh yes, and just to put the capper on this story…as we left the hospital I asked my mom if she was hungry…yes, she said. So we off we went to the Ale House and had dinner and a beer! Now that is resilience!
If you are having any of these symptoms, you are already dehydrated:
- dry lips and mouth
- a small amount of saliva
- a small amount of urine
- dark yellow urine
If you aren’t sure, try the pinch test:
Pinch a section of skin on the top of your hand. If you are well hydrated, your skin will pop back quickly. The slower it pops back, the more dehydrated you are.
So, how to satisfy thirst, maintain electrolytes and curb cravings?
DRINK WATER! Now admittedly at times we need something fizzzy and yummy. I like to mix flavored or plain seltzer with a few drops of flavored Stevia, a splash of juice, a wedge of peach, slices of lemons and limes, cucumbers or whatever is in season and catches my eye. You can make water more interesting without using anything artificial.
Are you one of those people that have to pee as soon as you drink a glass of water? Your electrolytes are probably low, so you can’t hold onto your fluids. You may be drinking plenty but are still dehydrated.
Try our favorite electrolyte concentrate, E-Lyte, which is unflavored and has no sugar or artificial sweetener. Dilute with water or other fluids. Or try our Complete Mineral Complex, a nice blend of the trace minerals, in a tablet.
Another easy electrolyte replacement, much better than any commercial sports drink, is EmergenC (available at any pharmacy, Target, etc.) Add a dash of salt to turn it into a terrific sports drink. You’ll get the extra benefit of the 1000 mg of Vita C in this product, which will help you clear lactic acid from muscles, preventing sore muscle after exercise. I use it in my water bottle during hikes.
Another possibility is that you need more carbs to retain your fluids better. St