Wilderness Medicine, First Aid, and Outdoor Skills
Rehydration

Survive Outdoors Home
About Us
Contact Us
Disclaimer
 
REFERENCE TOPICS
Asthma
Babesiosis
Barotrauma
Bee Stings
Bicycle Safety
Boating Safety
Box Jellyfish
Bubonic Plague
Camping Safety
Catfish Sting
Chiggers
Chronic Wasting Disease
Deer Stand Injuries
Dehydration
Drowning
Edible Plants
Ehrlichiosis
Eye Injuries
Field Dressing Deer
First Aid Kits
Fractures
Frostbite
Getting Lost and Getting Found
Heat Exhaustion
Heat Stroke
Hunting Safety
Hyponatremia
Hypothermia
Ice Fishing Safety
Incubation Periods
Infectious Diarrhea
Jellyfish Stings
Lacerations
Lightning Safety
Lyme Disease
Malaria
Mosquito
Mushrooms
Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
Portuguese Man of War
Psychology of Survival
Rabies Virus
Rehydration
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Safe Foreign Travel
SARS
Scabies
Scorpions
Seasonal Allergies
Shark Attacks
Skiers Thumb
Snake Bites

 - Black Racer

 - Brown Snake

 - Copperhead Snake
 - Cottonmouth
 - Eastern Coral Snake
 - Fox Snake
 - Garter Snake
 - Sea Snakes
 - Timber Rattlesnake
 - Western Diamondback
Spiders
 - Baby Spiders
 - Banana Spider
 - Black Widow
 - Brown Recluse
 - Brown Widow
 - Daddy Long Legs
 - Fishing Spider
 - Forest Wolf Spider
 - Golden Rod Spider
 - Grass Spider
 - Green Lynx
 - Jumping Spider
 - Red Widow
 - Tarantula
Splinting
STARI
Stink Bugs
Sunburn
Swimmer's Ear
Tetanus
Ticks
Tornado Safety
Travel Immunizations
Trip Planning
Tularemia
West Nile Virus
Yellow Fever
 
TRAUMA PICTURES
Allergic Reactions
Amputations
Animal Attacks
Basal Cell Carcinoma
BB Gun Injury
Bee Stings
Burns
Chigger Bites
Dislocations
Eye Injury
Fish Hook Removal
Foreign Bodies
Fractures
Frostbite Pictures
Gunshot Wounds
Herpes Zoster
Hook Worm
Lacerations
Lyme Disease Rash
MRSA Infection
Poison Ivy Rash
Sea Lice Bites
Search and Rescue
Spider Bites
 - Brown Recluse Bites
Sunburn Pictures
Tendon Ruptures
US Army First Aid Manual
Fundamental Criteria for First Aid
Basic Measures for First Aid
First Aid for Special Wounds
First Aid for Fractures
First Aid for Climatic Injuries
First Aid for Bites and Stings
First Aid in Toxic Environments
First Aid for Psychological Reactions
Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary


Everyone knows it is important to rehydrate if sweating profusely after strenuous activity. However, determining the amount of fluid intake necessary to offset this fluid loss can be difficult.

It is important to note that cool fluids are more beneficial than warm fluids when rehydrating. There is no data available to support the fact that cool fluid intake while exercising causes intense stomach cramping.

If fluid loss has accelerated to the point of heat illness, I.V. fluid replacement is the treatment of choice. However in wilderness settings, that is not always possible.

Please note: Potassium intake should NOT be started until serum electrolyte levels are available. This is important because many commercial drinks being marketed today do contain potassium; it vitally important to understand how your body is affected by what you are put into it. Remember: As indicated by Dr. Auerbach, YOU CANNOT RELY ON THE THIRST MECHANISM TO PREVENT DEHYDRATION.
Many times, the thirst mechanism does not work as efficiently as we might think. After strenuous activity, there should be mandatory scheduled breaks every 20-30 minutes including fluid intake. If done routinely, we’d have fewer deaths on the athletic field due to heat stroke/illness resulting from dehydration.

Fluid replacement beverages

With the emphasis on physical fitness in the United States, targeting an overweight population, commercial drinks have become extremely popular, with companies vying for greater commercial time to increase their sales. There is much confusion regarding the great variety of drinks being marketed. Which are better for fluid replacement? Is it better to replace electrolytes or increase carbohydrates? Is one of greater importance than the other? Without getting into the major physiologic details when comparing the gastric absorption of carbohydrates and electrolytes, per the 1996 American College of Sports Medicine’s guideline for replacing carbohydrates, carbohydrates should be ingested at the rate of 30-60 grams/hour to maintain oxidation. To my knowledge, this guideline has not been challenged.

Sports drinks should contain about 5-10% of carbohydrates in the form of glucose or sucrose to enhance endurance. Many athletes suffer from cramps, nausea and diarrhea after drinking 10% glucose solution, per Dr. Auerbach. Research studies across the board indicate that when engaging in prolonged, strenuous activity, there should be fluid intake every 15-20 minutes, or approximately one quart/hour.

Drinking carbohydrates during prolonged exercise may enhance the performance of athletes. As per Dr. Auerbach, carbohydrate containing beverages SHOULD NOT be placed into canteens, or metal containers since microbial contamination would be inevitable.

In closing, clearly everyone knows that we need to replace our fluids during prolonged exercise.

  1. Don’t rely on your thirst mechanism to alert you to your need for rehydration. Rehydrate every 15-20 minutes whether you want to or not.
  2. There are not a lot of differences between sports drinks for rehydration purposes.
  3. You do not need to replace potassium to any great extent.
  4. You want to hydrate at about one quart/hour during heavy exercise. Obviously one must take into consideration environmental conditions such as heat and humidity, and your endurance level, including body’s ability to acclimate.
  5. Know the differences between dehydrations symptoms, heat stroke symptoms, heat exhaustion symptoms and hyponatremia (sodium loss).
  6. In the outdoors, if you observe anyone experiencing mental confusion, this should be considered a medical emergency, with heat stroke the mostly likely cause.
  7. In moderate to severe dehydration, when replacing fluids, drinking large amounts of fluids and gulping frequently leads to extreme nausea and emesis (vomiting). You can still rehydrate, yet avoid potential vomiting, even in children, by taking in frequent, but very small amounts of fluid. Even if it is a tablespoon of fluids every 15 minutes, this will decrease the load on the gut, and decrease the nausea/vomiting factor.

For further details on direct physiology of dehydration, rehydration and fluid replacement, please review Wilderness Medicine by Auerbach, which is a great reference.




© 2000-2010 Jalic Inc. • All Rights Reserved • All images archived in our 'Photos' and 'Reference' sections are property of Jalic Inc., unless otherwise stated.
Use of the images is prohibited without the express written consent of Jalic Inc.
DisclaimerPrivacy Policy