Summers and dehydration often go hand in hand if one does not take adequate measures to keep the body hydrated but mild to moderate dehydration can be easily treated by taking glucose and electrolyte solutions called oral rehydration salts or ORS solution. Oral rehydration is when we take ORS orally to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance which is hampered due to illness or very hot weather conditions because this magical drink replenishes the body.
When to take ORS?
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Sports Nutritionist and Fitness Trainer Nupuur Patil shared, “This solution is for those who want to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Significant loss of electrolytes and fluids can occur during diarrhea, vomiting, intense exercise, fever, and hot weather. It is important to maintain a healthy balance in such cases by taking ORS. This involves drinking water with moderate amounts of sugar and salt, particularly sodium and potassium.
He highlighted, “ORS dosage is based on a person’s medical condition and response to treatment. One should not drink fruit juice or eat foods with added salt while taking this product unless directed by a doctor. It should be mentioned that while oral rehydration is an effective first-line treatment for mild to moderate dehydration, severe dehydration requires immediate medical attention. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is imperative to seek medical help immediately.”
How to prepare ORS?
Nupuur Patil replied, “It is best to consume a commercially available ORS solution as it has the right amount of ingredients. These can be purchased from pharmacies, grocery stores or online platforms. However, if one is unable to take these ready-made preparations, one can try the homemade ones which are prepared in a jiffy. When making ORS at home, it is very important to use clean and safe drinking water. Using unclean water can make matters worse as it may contain harmful germs that can cause illness.”
He reminded, “Make sure to always use clean water to prepare ORS to keep it safe and healthy. Boiling water is a surefire way to ensure that it is safe for consumption. After boiling, let the water cool down. For a liter of water, add 6 teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of table salt. Stir the solution well. Sipping it throughout the day in the face of diarrhea and vomiting helps compensate for lost fluids and electrolytes in the body.
Who should not consume ORS?
According to health experts, “ORS is a definite no-no for someone dealing with kidney disorders and those on a fluid-restricted diet. They need to consult their treating doctor when dealing with dehydration. In addition, as a sufferer of diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, you need to watch out for sugar and salt intake, you need to watch out for ORS consumption because excessive intake of ORS can cause poisoning in the body apart from disturbing blood sugar and electrolytes. level.”
Nupuur Patil concludes, “The rule of thumb for keeping the body hydrated is to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day. In addition, consuming ORS is the simplest way to deal with mild to moderate dehydration which may be caused by vomiting, diarrhea, high fever and hot weather. Remember, taking ORS is not a substitute for consulting a doctor because severe dehydration can cause life-threatening complications.”
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