Hydration and Electrolytes
Supplements that contain electrolytes provide better hydration than water alone.
This is because electrolytes help the body to absorb water and maintain hydration. When we lose fluids, we also lose important salts and minerals, which need to be replaced and cannot be replenished by drinking only water. Since our body is made up of about 70% water, proper hydration is essential to the efficient functioning of all of our body systems. Even slight dehydration can lead to mental sluggishness.
Hydration with electrolytes has been found to be 3 times more effective than with water alone. (Hamada et al (2002). Effects of hydration on fluid balance & lower-extremity blood viscosity during long airplane flights. Letters 844 JAMA. Feb, 20, Vol 287, No.7)
To learn more about dehydration, contributing factors, signs and symptoms, visit http://www.europeanhydrationinstitute.org/signs_and_symptoms_of_imminent_dehydration/?gclid=CNqk6ICN2bgCFaei4godyGMA3w
Another interesting article about the effect electrolyte beverages had on men while inflight is described by researcher JE Greenleaf. (Greenleaf JE et al (1998). Sodium chloride-citrate beverages attenuate hypovolemia in men resting 12h at 2800m altitude. Aviat Space Environ Med. Oct;69(10):936-43)
Who is particularly at risk of dehydration?
- People who travel by plane. Passengers lose 1 extra litre of fluid for every 5 hours in the air. This is due to low humidity in the air cabin – approximately 15%, which is similar to the humidity level of a desert. General humidity off the plane sits at approximately 60%. Ensuring that you are hydrated when you fly is a smart step to guard against DVT . Studies have found that the confined environment of a plane, together with dehydration (which increases blood viscosity), contribute to DVT. (Hamada, K Doi, T. Sakurai, Metal 2002. Effects of hydration on fluid balance & lower extremity blood viscosity during big airplane flights. Journal of the American Medical Association 287, 844-845).
- Those who don’t drink enough water.
- Those who urinate frequently. This can be caused by the intake of diuretics, including tea, coffee or alcohol, as well as other medications such as antihistamines, blood pressure medications and anti-psychotics. It is commonly seen in people with uncontrolled diabetes. http://medicalnewstoday.com/articles/153363.php
- People who sweat excessively. From strenuous exercise or being in a hot climate.
- Those with travellers’ diarrhoea or vomiting.
- Those who consume alcohol. For example, if a person drinks 200ml of beer, because alcohol is a diuretic (it interferes with the mechanism that regulates fluid levels in our bodies) the body will excrete an extra 120ml of urine on top of its usual 60–80ml an hour. Check out Dr Karl’s interesting article: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/02/28/3441707.htm#.UbgvBvWGQuo
To decrease the effects of dehydration, we suggest you:
- Combine your Flightamins sachet with at 600ml of water and finish this quantity every 4 hours to 6 hours.
- Limit or avoid diuretic drinks that encourage urination and lead to dehydration. For example, coffee, tea or alcohol.
Here is a useful calculator to work out approximately how much water you should drink. http://www.csgnetwork.com/humanh2owater.html