For individuals suffering from dehydration, an electrolyte drink is recommended to replace the lost electrolytes from vomiting or diarrhea. Electrolyte drinks basically contain vital elements such as potassium, sodium and magnesium as well as sweeteners and carbohydrates. These drinks were initially designed to help individuals recover quickly from electrolyte loss due to dehydration, excessive exercise and other illnesses. It is important to select drinks that can treat a general electrolyte imbalance or those that can deal with imbalances in potassium or sodium.
General electrolyte replacement
You can choose the isotonic sports drinks such as Powerade, Gatorade or Accelerade. Take note that you do not need more electrolytes that what is present in most sports drinks unless you are undergoing training for a marathon or exercising strenuously. It is best to look for a combination that is comprised of 80 g of potassium, 25 mg of magnesium and 45 g of sodium.
Hypertonic electrolyte drink
This is recommended to help the body recover after extensive workout routines. You have to look for drinks that contain added protein for energy as well as antioxidants to help the muscles recover from the stress and strain of the longer workouts. Recommended choices include EFS, Revenge Sport and Cytomax and combine them to save money.
Create your own electrolyte replacement drink
If you are on a budget, you can easily create your own electrolyte replacement drink. You need the following ingredients – packet of sweetened fruit drink, ½ cup of sugar, 2 quarts of water, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ cup of orange juice. Depending on your preference, you can replace sodium by adding a pinch of salt to 8 oz. of water.
Electrolyte replacement for children
Pedialyte is recommended for infants and children as well as elderly individuals suffering from dehydration due to diarrhea or vomiting. Take note that dehydration goes hand in hand with the loss of vital elements such as sodium and potassium. Instruct the child or elderly to sip the beverage slowly in case he/she is have difficulty keeping food down. As long as fluids lost are replaced, the electrolytes will be replaced over time.
Alternative to sports drinks
If you have visited a health food shop, you might want to check out if coconut water is available since this is an invigorating substitute to sports drinks. Coconut water is comprised of higher levels of potassium which is considered one of the essential electrolytes for muscular function.
Try to avoid the popular vitamin-infused water products. Take note that they could not provide the body with the essential electrolytes and they are expensive. It is still recommended to get your daily vitamins from the foods that you eat.
If the diarrhea lasts for more than 24 hours, you have to consult a doctor or simply take the individual to the emergency department at the nearest hospital or call for emergency assistance.