What is Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT)?
Even though hundreds of millions of individuals experience symptoms of dehydration every day, most people aren’t aware of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) or oral rehydration solutions (ORS). People often assume that dehydration is all about losing water and that sufficient fluid intake solves the problem. But that’s inaccurate — individuals experiencing the symptoms of dehydration need oral rehydration solutions to restore optimal electrolysis balance in their bodies.
Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) is positioned as the treatment for the symptoms of dehydration. ORT was first introduced in the 70s to treat children suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of dehydration in impoverished regions. At the time, ORT was called the world’s most crucial medical discovery since penicillin. One of ORT’s biggest advantages is that it’s easy to comprehend and replicate — it relies on the simple combination of sugar, salt, and water.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t suffer from dehydration simply because of the loss of water. The excessive loss of water, in the form of urine, sweat, etc., lead to the loss of essential minerals and electrolytes, especially sodium. The electrolyte imbalance in your body prevents you from absorbing water and fluids, which is why individuals experiencing the symptoms of dehydration often discharge the fluids immediately after drinking water. ORT restores your body’s optimal electrolyte balance to help you absorb fluids again.
How does ORS help in controlling water loss in the body?
ORT uses oral rehydration solutions (ORS) made of salts, sugars, and water. Consuming these minerals with the water reverses the symptoms of dehydration by pulling water into your bloodstream through a process known as osmosis. Oral rehydration solutions restore the essential electrolytes your body has lost due to excessive sweating, exposure to harsh weather, diarrhea, etc. Oral rehydration therapy is ideal for individuals engaged In intense activities, suffering from diarrhea, etc.
What is an oral rehydration solution (ORS)?
Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are rehydration drinks for adults used to reverse the symptoms of dehydration caused by extreme weather conditions, excess loss of fluids through sweat, vomiting, urination, or diarrhea, etc. Oral rehydration salts and drinks are different from your typical energy drinks because they contain the optimal proportion of ingredients your body needs to ensure smooth functioning.
An oral rehydration solution contains the following components:
- Clean and disinfected water.
- Electrolyte salts, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, bicarbonate, and chloride.
- Carbohydrates or sugars.
Oral rehydration solutions are often called salt and sugar solutions because those are the primary ingredients. You can also get oral rehydration salts in powdered form and then add water to the solution separately. However, you must add water from a clean, disinfected, boiled source or retrieve it from a commercially sealed bottle. Even though oral rehydration salts may look similar to energy drinks, they’re entirely different.
What are the differences between oral rehydration salts and energy drinks?
Oral rehydration salts are essential for athletes and individuals with diarrhea seeking to reverse the symptoms of dehydration. However, despite their proven and significant benefits, they’re not as well-known or popular as they should be because they’re often overshadowed by commercially-available sports drinks and energy drinks, such as Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water, etc.
However, oral rehydration salts are completely different from sports drinks. Oral rehydration salts have a high volume of essential salts to ensure they match your body’s composition. In comparison, sports drinks have a much higher volume of sugars and artificial flavors, reducing their electrolysis abilities. The higher volume of sugars and artificial flavors also explains why sports drinks are more popular than ORS — they taste better.
Besides being unhelpful in reversing dehydration symptoms, energy drinks and sports drinks also have far higher calories than ORS.
Is it good to drink ORS every day for hydration?
Oral rehydration solutions are designed specifically for rehydration purposes. They’re not meant for daily home consumption by just anyone — you may suffer from an electrolyte imbalance even if you have excess electrolytes in your body. ORS is specifically meant for sportspersons, athletes, individuals engaging in heavy exercises for several hours a day, frequent travelers who spend extended hours outdoors, those who intend to go on a drinking binge, and others at risk of experiencing the symptoms of dehydration.
Adults 12 years and older belonging to any of the aforementioned categories must take oral rehydration solutions once every 1 to 4 hours. Different individuals lose salts and water at different rates, depending on the level of exertion, activity, environmental factors, etc. As such, the specific volume of ORS hydration differs for each individual, but you should consume the volume recommended by the specific ORS you’re taking. However, as mentioned earlier, you must only consume ORS every day if you’re engaging in activities that lead to extreme loss of water in the form of sweat, urine, or other forms of bodily discharge.
ORS isn’t meant for casual use.
What is the best liquid to drink when you are dehydrated?
You’ll find several oral rehydration salts and solutions on the market. You must exercise caution and discretion when choosing oral rehydration solutions because, as mentioned earlier, ORS isn’t the same as sports drinks and energy drinks.
RecoverORS is currently one of the best alternatives to sports drinks and energy drinks. It’s an oral rehydration solution consisting of the optimal proportion of electrolytes and essential minerals, including Dextrose, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, and Ascorbic Acid, with less than 1% sweeteners.
RecoverORS has been prepared by clinicians in FDA-inspected facilities, so you can trust it sufficiently to reverse the symptoms of dehydration. RecoverORS hydration solution must be consumed once every 1 to 4 hours for a total of 8 packets a day to ensure optimal body functioning.