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Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by Street Samurai1978, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Street Samurai1978

    Street Samurai1978 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    I was talking with a friend of mine about fluids for hydration on long term treks. He suggested to me the World Health Organization's rehydration solution. Basically it consists of boiling one liter of water, then adding 8 teaspoons of sugar and level teaspoon of salt, then removing the water form the heat, refrigerating it the night before you go out. This or you could just by some hydration salts and do the same. He said this can be put in a canteen or a Camelback. I just had a concern with it and wanted to get other opinions. This is for REhydration. Drinking this can hyper-perfuse your system if you're not already short on electrolytes, causing your body to excrete the excess through water, causing you to loose fluid faster. That was my concern. Thoughts?
  2. Rotte


    Aug 30, 2008
    I just stick with water.

    Once you start adding sugar to stuff it can grow bacteria and yeasts more easily. A trace amount of salt may be useful, but if you are eating food, you are getting the electrolytes you need. I once heard that diluted Coke (not Pepsi) could be used as a rehydration fluid. Coke has sugar, sodium, and potassium. The sugar helps your body absorb water more quickly, so that could be useful if you are severely dehydrated.

    Consuming excessive salt can lead to the loss of fluid. A prime example is sea water: drinking salty water from the ocean will cause you to become dehydrated as your kidneys try to excrete the excess sodium. Delirious sailors lost at sea have proven this on a few occasions, much to their detriment.

    Stick with water. You've evolved over 2 million years to drink water successfully. Why mess with that?
  3. Street Samurai1978

    Street Samurai1978 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    I thought that, too, cuz even though you boiled the water, the container you pour it into still has all sorts of microbeasties. And bacteria and yeasts do love their sugar. More reading shows the solution he was looking at was for rehydrating people suffering from bouts of diarrhea, which doesnt have any K+ added.
  4. Millhouse


    Oct 14, 2006
    I stick with water. I do keep a bottle of Isotonic drink to supplement the water as required.
  5. riz_aaroni


    Feb 7, 2007
    Just drank a whole bunch of a water when I hiked/camped over labor day weekend. Bringing some kind of mix may be good solely because it can get boring drinking plain water. Then again, at no point was I not loving the fresh spring/stream water.

    Would be good to know the science behind it all and if there is some real benefit from the sugar/salt recipe mentioned above.
  6. Street Samurai1978

    Street Samurai1978 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    There is some. When you have severe diarrhea, you lose a lot of electrolytes that should have been absorbed by your intestinal tract. Putting salts?sugars is an attempt to replace some of them. You need some sodium because water follows salt. Too little water and/or sodium and your adrenal gland will secrete aldosterone to try and retain sodium and water. But if you hyperperfuse yourself with what you already have plenty of, your body will push it into your urine and out it goes, along with water as an exit vehicle. So while the sugar/salt mixture or the hydration salts are great when you don't have enough, it can drain you faster if you have too much. The solution was meant for people suffering from diarrhea and severe dehydration, especially in third world countries. The guy I was talking to thought it might be good for long treks.
  7. Marcelo Cantu

    Marcelo Cantu Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2003
    Here is what I would do; A teaspoon of salt contains about the amount of sodium (@2,400 mg, the rest is chloride ions) that a healthy adult needs in one day. Divide that teaspoon and 8 tsps of sugar into about a gallon of water and drink that all day. Whatever salt you take in via food can account for the extra sodium loss through exertion.

    However if you are sick, I heard a teapoon of sugar helps the medicine go down.
  8. riz_aaroni


    Feb 7, 2007
    Good to know. Will see if I have a small container or pick one up. Seems like a good thing to have with you for longer trips and what not. Could see it being useful on really hot humid trips where it seems like you'd have that issue more. Maybe even vacations where you may be eating more exotic things.
  9. Munky88


    Jun 1, 2008
    Clif makes some electrolyte gummie things that I quite like. Better control over what you intake when. I don't like putting anything with sugar into my containers because of weird aftertaste and bacteria alone.
  10. Street Samurai1978

    Street Samurai1978 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    If you're gonna use it, don't premix it. Keep it in a baggie and mix it when you intend to drink the solution. Prefixing makes a nice little habitat for all sorts of little microbeasties. WHO recommends you ditch the solution 24hrs after mixing.
  11. sodak

    sodak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    I've used it at home when I've been sick, and it does work. It also tastes like crap - keep that in mind.
  12. Fishinbo


    Jun 11, 2012
    Just stick with water. You can never go wrong with it.
  13. RescueRiley


    Mar 22, 2006
    Water is all you need..IF you are supplementing your minerals through food intake. Most packaged food possess more than enough minerals to sustain you with adequate water... in areas of extreme heat or humidity where sweat is copiuos for an extended period of time, physical exertion is at max, and water consumption is high, Sodium loss without replacement can cause a serious and fatal electrolyte imbalance called hyponutremia, (not uncommon in marathoners_)
    TOO much supplementation can have negative effects in the opposite way (also with potentially fatal effects_) My advice would be to hydrate primarily with water. If you have food to consume you are most likely set. If you are still concerned a packet or 2 of gatorade powder would be a good thing to have.
    Rehydration formulas such as the one reccomended by WHO, are not for consumption as replacement for water.. but are rather a way to restore electrolyte balance to to people who have suffered from extreme Gastro intestinal distress, or a heat related emergency. Essentially the formula has the basice elements of what you would get in an IV if you where admitted for the aforementioned causes to an emergency room, except this is consumed orally. I don;t think its meant for a tired hiker outside of an emergency situation.
    So again I reiterate, a powdered sports drink maybe 1 nalgene out of every 4,. Or follow Marcelo's well thought out forumla
    but IMO there's no reason to start administering a cure, if you can keep the problem from ever happening.
  14. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down . . . in the most delightful way. ^____^
  15. Street Samurai1978

    Street Samurai1978 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Agreed. Still, I carry a pack of hydration salts just in the event I pick up a case of the trots. Good thing about the packets, they contain what pretty much turns into an oral Lactated Ringer's solution. Learned the hard way. Can't remember how I got the runs, think it was something I ate before or during the outting. Wasn't pretty, thats for sure.
  16. RescueRiley


    Mar 22, 2006
    In situations like you mentioned where vomiting and diarrhea, are a problem for longer than 24 hours, than I think a rehydration formula is completely valid.

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