Active Recovery & Hydration II – Staying Hydrated

How do I stay hydrated?

gatorade sweatYour body can only maintain hydration if you are consuming more water than you are losing. In order to improve hydration, your body needs water … duh!
But, did you know that staying hydrated requires more than water??? It needs water in the presence of salt and sugar. This is the theory behind why Gatorade, Powerade, and other electrolyte drinks are better at restoring your fluid status than water alone.

Advantages of IV Fluids After Exercise or Post-Race

IV fluid goes straight into veins, which all lead to the heart. Once the fluid gets to the heart, it is disseminated throughout the body. Your body decides where the majority of nutrients are directed by dilating the arteries that lead to areas in need. In contrast, your body constricts and limits blood flow to areas that don’t need as much emergent blood flow.

Without appropriate hydration, your body restricts blood flow to vital organs until it becomes a problem. If the muscles are begging for blood, the arteries will dilate to the muscles while constricting blood flow to the bowels and kidneys. If you have less blood flowing through your digestive tract, you can consume as many protein bars as you want, but your body will not be able to receive those nutrients without appropriate blood flow. In addition, your body will be shunting blood away from the kidneys, which causes a build-up of toxins when there is inappropriate kidney blood flow. Dehydration causing kidney damage is called “Acute Kidney Injury” in medicine. The kidneys cannot filter without enough blood flowing through them.

With rapid rehydration using IV fluids, you are able to give your body the fluid that it needs to pump blood to your muscles and vital organs without starving any of them. It gives the kidneys ample fluid to filter, and it gives the muscles enough nutrients and water to regenerate.

Active Recovery & Hydration

This is Dr. Oubre and his team performing IV hydration with vitamin infusions at the Jack’s Generic Triathlon for competitors post-race.

Sweet and Salty – The Cure to Dehydration

sweet and saltyThe body’s cellular pumps that absorb water require a small amount of sugar and salt in order to adequately pull in the water. Your body is not very good at absorbing water. In fact, it rarely moves water around; instead, it absorbs salt and due to the laws of osmosis – water follows the salt. However, sugar is needed in order to power the salt pumps. Salt is also needed to hold onto that water that you just absorbed. Without salt, your body just makes dilute urine.

It is important to remember that sweat is the loss of water and electrolytes. This is why animals lick us when we are sweaty – they like the taste of salt. If you are replacing your fluid with water only, you are losing electrolytes without replacing them. This is why marathon runners and other endurance athletes can die during a prolonged race. Their salt levels can drop to dangerous levels without adequate replacement. This is called Hyponatremia.

How can I tell if I am hydrated?

urine hydrationYour urine is the best gauge of hydration status. If your kidneys are trying to preserve water, your urine turns dark orange like orange juice. They are telling you that you need to drink more water. If your urine is light yellow like lemonade, then you are adequately hydrated. You are keeping up with your water level.

How can I tell if I have enough salt?

There is no good way to determine salt levels on the go. It is important to speak with a professional before embarking on endurance races for prolonged periods of time in order to ensure adequate electrolyte intake. Too much salt can cause abdominal cramping, which will also put you out of the race.

How can I tell if I have enough sugar?

This one is fairly easy. You normally feel like crap if you don’t have enough sugar! This is called “bonking” or “hitting the wall” by most athletes. Luckily, your body can create its own sugar on the fly. If you are exercising beyond your body’s sugar production, you will ultimately develop cramps and muscle pains that require you to quit exercising. Then, your body’s sugar production will catch up to your sugar consumption.
You can also check your blood sugar level with a glucometer (or test strip), but if you are not diabetic, it is unlikely to be very useful. Your body normally feels symptoms of low blood sugar before the level drops.


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Active Recovery & Hydration – Part 1 of 3

Why is Hydration Important?


We all know that hydration is important. We hear about it all the time. So, what is it exactly that makes hydration so important? Why does our body need water anyway?

Let’s go over it by breaking it down into several categories:


Blood Viscosity:

HydrationOur body requires water in order to pump blood throughout our body. The majority of our blood volume is water mixed with proteins and electrolytes. We call this plasma. When water levels decrease, the blood becomes thicker and more viscous. It is unable to squeeze through our tiny pipes as quickly.   Would you rather water or molasses pumping through your body?   How do you expect lactic acid, broken down cellular components, and other toxic byproducts to get out of the fatigued muscle if it cannot get blood flow through it? Moreover, how do you expect fresh oxygen, clean water, and nutrients to get to fatigued muscle if blood is not flowing quickly to it?


Cellular Metabolism:

Chemical reactions are occurring in every cell of your entire body. Producing energy is simply taking a Hydrationmolecule with hydrogen atoms, popping them off, and forcing their electrons through a series of events that churns a pump which phosphorylates a molecule (called ATP). Okay, so maybe it’s fairly complicated, but it’s still a series of chemical reactions.


Water is crucial to chemical reactions because it is the solvent that allows molecules, proteins, and organelles (cellular structures) to float through the cell. If the cell is dehydrated, then it is shrunken and its gelatinous cytosol is more like Jell-O after a night in the fridge than Jell-O when you first mix it.



The body is not very good at removing fat-soluble toxins; therefore, its detoxification processes usually involve sticking water-soluble molecules onto the toxin. Once a toxin is made water-soluble, it is easily eliminated from the kidneys. When you are dehydrated, the kidneys conserve water by reabsorbing it after it has been filtered. Without appropriate hydration levels, the kidneys are not able to adequately excrete water-soluble toxins, so the toxins get recycled as the kidneys try to conserve water. Thus, the toxins continue to circulate through your body.

Although we typically think of “toxins” as things that we eat, drink, and touch, it is important to realize that our body makes its own toxins and byproducts. We are just

Human Skin.

like your car’s combustion engine. When making energy, there are always byproducts that need to be removed in order to continue making energy. Common byproducts are heat, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and acid.

Heat: This is why your body gets warmer during exercise.

Carbon dioxide: This is why you breathe faster during exercise.

Nitrogen: This is the breakdown product of protein, and it is turned into urea, which is excreted by the kidneys as urine.

Acid: This is created during exercise as lactic acid during anaerobic metabolism.

Without adequate hydration, your tissue is not able to dump its toxic metabolites into the circulation. If the garbage truck is full every time it swings by your house, it does not matter how often it stops by.

As you can see, hydration is paramount for optimal cellular function. For athletes, it’s even more important. The longer you stay in the dehydrated state, the longer that will take to fully recover and make gains.

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6 Medical Uses for IV Magnesium

IV MagnesiumMagnesium is an abundant mineral in the body. It is naturally found in many foods, and it is frequently taken as a dietary supplement. It is used as a co-factor in numerous chemical reactions. Without magnesium, protein cannot be created, nerves cannot function, and muscles cannot grow. Magnesium is required to produce energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It is an essential component in developing DNA and the subsequent communications to everyday cellular function called RNA. It is also plays a critical role in the production of the body’s most important antioxidant glutathione.

Intravenous magnesium has uses in both mild and severe medical problems like Migraines, medication side effects, asthma attacks, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia of pregnancy, and fatal heart rhythms.

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