We often get asked how to get hydrated fast, so here’ll we break it down for you and debunk some of the myths that are out there.
IV Hydration - the fastest way to hydrate?
Many people assume that the fastest way to rehydrate is intravenously, using an IV bag of saline. This is what ambulances use when someone has lost a lot of fluids, or been found wandering lost in the desert for months. It’s what hospitals use, it’s what field hospitals use, it must be the fastest way to rehydrate, right? Well technically yes, in studies it has been shown to be the fastest, when you start the different treatments at the same time. This is because the fluids go straight into the bloodstream where they can then get to your cells as needed. But there are some caveats:
- Most of us do not have access to the necessary gear to rehydrate intravenously
- Most of us are not qualified to set up IV hydration
Because of these issues, IV hydration arguably a lot slower for most lifestyle use cases. For example, if you’re trying to rehydrate fast after a long night of drinking alcohol (a diuretic), you might call one of these IV businesses, where they send a doctor or nurse to hook you up to a drip. That’s 45 minutes at a minimum until you can even start getting hydrated, and then you have to wait for the IV drip to actually flow into your body, which is usually another ~30 mins.
For these reasons, IV hydration is not the fastest way to rehydrate at home.
Instead, we recommend using an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), let’s break it down:
Back in the 70s, doctors in the developing world were dealing with thousands of people suffering from dehydration caused by diseases like Cholera and Dysentery. They didn’t have enough IV drips or medical staff to rehydrate everyone that way, so they set out to find another solution.
In 1978, they discovered what we now call ORS: Water, sugar, and salt in the right combinations could effectively rehydrate even the most dehydrated patients. As long as the patients weren’t also vomiting, the health outcomes of people rehydrating with ORS vs intravenously were the SAME!
How fast is rehydrating with ORS?
It takes as long as it takes you to mix the powder in water, and drink it down! And because that liquid needs to travel to your gut and be absorbed, you’ll usually have another 20-30 minutes before the hydration kicks in.
Compare that to waiting for a doctor/nurse to show up, and then having to sit there hooked up to a needle for 30 minutes. We know which one we prefer.
This is another reason why if you’re using Hydrant to rehydrate after drinking alcohol, we recommend drinking 2 packets mixed according to the instructions before bed. That way your body can be already hydrated by the time you wake up, so you wake up feeling fresh.
Then you can smugly walk past any of those friends who wanted to spend 50-100x the money on IV hydration. And hey, if you want to be sure you’re totally hydrated, drink another pack or 2 in the morning!
If a doctor tells you that you need an IV, obviously you should rehydrate that way. Same at a hospital. But outside of those scenarios, it’s a waste of your time and money when ORS has been shown to be just as effective.
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