When You Should Opt for an Oral Rehydration Solution
It can be hard to tell when you need extra help. Sometimes we tend to push aside our worries because of the need to feel like you have it all together. But asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of at all, especially when it comes to your health.
One thing that tons of people need help with is hydration. Though drinking enough fluids should be an easy task, it’s more like a habit you need to keep up with in order for it to be effective. However, whether it is stress, poor diet, or another reason, too many people struggle to get enough water, vitamins, and minerals.
Sound familiar? If you’re having issues with staying hydrated and water just isn’t cutting it, you might consider using an oral rehydration solution (ORS for short). An ORS is a drink that is outstandingly effective in rehydrating someone with non-severe levels of dehydration. They can come pre-made in bottles or as a drink mix to add to water.
ORS can be one of many useful tools when it comes to your body’s ability to maintain hydration. But when is it time to try it out? Before we get too far, let’s go over what an oral rehydration solution is and why you might need it.
What is an Oral Rehydration Solution and What is it Used For?
Oral Rehydration Solutions are a great way to replace lost electrolytes and fluids in the body. They are useful in situations when electrolyte imbalance and dehydration happen, like when you are ill with a stomach issue, stayed out in the heat too long, or need to recharge after playing sports. Essentially, if you need to replace fluids in your body fast, an ORS might be what you need.
ORS is backed by science, created by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a safe, effective, and easy alternative to IV drips. Using an optimized ratio of electrolytes and glucose, ORS uses your body’s sodium-glucose cotransport mechanism to pull potassium, water, and sodium directly into your bloodstream through osmosis. You can think of the sodium-glucose cotransport mechanism as a superhighway, delivering optimized hydration when you need it most.
Glucose and electrolytes work together to open a door to your bloodstream early in the digestion process, helping water and nutrients be absorbed by the small intestine. When glucose and electrolytes pass through the intestinal wall, osmotic pressure brings water along too, immediately rehydrating your body.
But when exactly should you opt for an ORS? There can be a lot of situations where using one is a smart idea. If one of these situations applies to you, then it could be time to give one a try.
No Matter How Much Water You Drink, You Never Feel 100% Hydrated
Water is an amazing thing. The majority of our body is made up of water, about 60 percent. Many of the major functions of our bodies require water to work, like our brain, heart, and so much more. That’s why when we’re dehydrated, we can really feel it all over our bodies. Oh, have we mentioned that most people are dehydrated and don’t even know it? Yes, really.
If you like drinking sugary drinks, no matter how much “good” stuff might be included, you can throw out a lot of the benefits of drinking it to begin with. This is especially true if you consume them on a regular basis.
The obvious solution would be to drink more water. However, there are times when drinking tons of water isn't enough to feel your best. If you lose excessive electrolytes through sweat and don't replace them, water can only do so much to get you back in motion. That’s where an ORS can come in handy.
Regular water doesn’t have electrolytes, but oral rehydration solutions do. ORS is more effective at rehydrating your body due to an optimized balance of glucose and electrolytes. Just be sure you’re drinking the right oral rehydration solution.
Too many ORS-type drinks have added sugars or other ingredients that counteract the benefits of drinking it in the first place. Other hydration solutions may have electrolytes, but if they’re not a perfectly-balanced ORS, it won’t be as effective at achieving ultimate hydration at the cellular level.
Make sure to research your options carefully and opt for one with natural ingredients you recognize on the label.
You Feel Sluggish, Dizzy, or Nauseated After Working Out
Your post-workout time should feel reinvigorating, not totally exhausting. Yes, it’s normal to feel relaxed and a little tired after a workout, but watch out for signals your body is giving you. If you get intense bouts of fatigue or feel yucky after every single workout, that may be a sign of dehydration.
If you have any severe symptoms, always check with a doctor instead of doing a DIY diagnosis. Especially if it involves a rapid heart beat, sudden and intense muscle weakness, or chest tension. But if your symptoms are just persistent and annoying, give an ORS a try. If your problems suddenly disappear, it’ll feel like magic. But really, it’s just the intensely effective power of electrolytes and fluid being restored in your body. Okay, so it is kind of like magic.
You’re Always in a Bad Mood
There are many reasons why your mood could be affected. Stress’ effect on mental health shouldn’t be ignored. Frankly, neither should a proper amount of water and electrolytes in the body. If you’ve heard of being “hangry”, then that means that being “angsty” is a combo of being both angry and thirsty or hungry.
This isn’t surprising if you know that the brain is over seventy percent water. If you don’t give the brain what it’s made of, of course it’ll throw a tantrum. So while “food for thought” is important too, don’t forget “water for thought” either.
Your Doctor Tells You That You Need It
It's always a good idea to consult your physician on any health matters. If you've brought the topic of dehydration up or even got an electrolyte test and had an imbalance, they may suggest you use some sort of sports drink or electrolyte drink to get back in balance. Maybe they already did and that’s why you’re reading this right now. Alongside suggesting a healthy diet, a doctor may suggest an oral rehydration solution because it can effectively get your body back in balance fairly quickly.
If they do, ask them what kinds of ingredients to look for in an ORS. Just as important, ask if there are any red flags you should be watching out for on the nutrition label. They’ll probably mention that you should watch out for added sugars and a high calorie count.
You’ve Been Sick
Many illnesses can cause dehydration. When you’re sick, you don’t feel like doing much and can neglect your most basic needs. Illness can also make you lose electrolytes through sweating and...other side effects best reserved behind the bathroom door.
There’s a reason why you’re told to drink plenty of fluids and eat lots of soup when you’re ill. If you want a faster recovery, give your body the tools it needs to do so. Our immune systems are equipped to handle a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it hanging when it needs help!
An ORS can save the day when you barely have the energy to move in the first place. Once you have your electrolytes back in balance, you can work on eating that soup you made.
You Play a Lot of Sports or Participate in a Lot of Intense Physical Activity
Kids and adults who play sports or do strenuous physical work can benefit from using an ORS. Most athletes will lose one to three liters of sweat per hour they work out or play. That’s a lot of fluids and electrolytes lost in a short amount of time. Even if you drink plenty of water before and after working out, that doesn’t account for all of the electrolytes lost in the process. The higher the intensity of your actions, the more you lose.
The more you lose, the less likely it is that you will be able to do your best. Even losing just two percent of your body weight in sweat can negatively affect your ability to maintain aerobic stamina as well. An oral rehydration solution can be a reliable, effective fix for the days when you demand a lot from your body.
When Your Body Just Isn’t Absorbing Nutrients Like It Should Be
Sometimes our bodies just don’t work like they used to. Maybe you’ve always had an issue with maintaining proper electrolyte levels and you want something that can make your life a little easier. Some medical conditions or symptoms of them can make this difficult such as:
- Kidney issues
- Eating disorders
- Stomach issues
- Thyroid issues
Certain medications such as some antibiotics and drugs used for chemotherapy treatments can also make absorbing electrolytes difficult.
There are plenty of reasons why your electrolytes may be out of balance, so don’t panic. It is much more likely that you simply need a little boost in your diet than something more serious.
Take the Next Step
You should always do the best you can for your body and mind. Seems simple enough, but too many people take shortcuts on something so vital to everyday life. If you recognize yourself in these scenarios, it might be time to take the leap to trying out a quality oral rehydration solution. That’s where Cure can help.
At Cure, we’re obsessed with healthy hydration. Because we know that hydration is the first and easiest thing anyone and everyone can do to support their health and well-being. Cure is the effortless way to replenish electrolytes that are lost in daily life.
So if you’re ready to take the next step to effortless, tasty hydration, we’re here for you. With six tasty flavors and plant-based ingredients, we’ve created a product you can feel confident about putting in your body.