Fluid & Electrolyte Balance

 I found this table diagram on fluid and electrolyte balance. I thought it was a pretty darn good pointer to have bookmarked! Gotta prepare for the next run and the heat of late spring/summer!

KEEP FLUIDS AND ELECTROLYTES IN BALANCE
Hydration: LOW
Electrolytes HIGH
Hypernatremia with dehydration
Likelihood: moderate
Weight is down a few pounds or more
Thirst is high, and salty foods taste bad.
Mouth and skin are dry
Food acceptance is poor
Absence of urination
Causes: no access to water or voluntary
restriction of water intake, body electrolytes
concentrated by loss of water
What to do: Get access to water and drink.
Restrict electrolytes until weight is near
normal.
Hydration: OK
Electrolytes HIGH
Hypernatremia
Likelihood: rare, transitory if water
available
Weight is normal
Thirst is high, and salty foods taste bad.
Mouth is not very dry
Causes: no access to water, or voluntary
restriction of water intake, body electrolytes
concentrated by loss of water
What to do: Drink to satisfy thirst, so that
excess electrolytes are removed by
sweating and urination.  Restrict salt intake
until excess is urinated and sweated out.  
Hydration: HIGH
Electrolytes HIGH
Hypernatremia with over-hydration
Likelihood: very rare
Weight is up a few pounds or more
Thirst is high, and salty foods taste bad.
Possible mental confusion
Hands may be puffy
Shortness of breath, rapid heart rate
Food acceptance is poor
Causes: over-consumption of salt, probably
from a combination of sources
What to do: Stop electrolyte intake, drink only
to wet mouth until weight is normal.
Hydration: LOW
Electrolytes OK
Dehydration
Likelihood: common
Weight is down a few pounds or more
Thirst is high, and salty foods taste normal.
Mouth is dry, food acceptance is poor
Skin is dry and may tent if pinched
May have dizziness on standing up
May have cramping
Mental performance may be affected
Causes: insufficient fluid intake
What to do: Drink sports drink with
electrolytes, or water
Hydration: OK
Electrolytes OK
Proper hydration and electrolyte balance
Likelihood: common
Weight is stable or slightly down
Stomach is fine, food acceptance is normal
Mouth is moist ( can spit ) and skin is normal
Cramps: none
Urination is normal
Causes: proper water and electrolyte intake
What to do: Continue with hydration and
electrolyte practice unless conditions change
Hydration: HIGH
Electrolytes OK
Over-hydrated
Likelihood: moderate
Weight is up a few pounds or more
Wrists and hands are probably puffy
Stomach is queasy
Thirst is low, and salty foods taste normal.
Mouth is moist – can spit.
Causes: fluid intake in excess of needs
What to do: Drink only to wet mouth until
weight is near normal
Hydration: LOW
Electrolytes LOW
Hyponatremia with dehydration
Likelihood:  rare
Weight is down a few pounds or more
Thirst is high, and salty foods taste good
Mouth is dry, can’t spit
May have cramping
Skin is dry and may tent if pinched
May have dizziness on standing up
Causes: insufficient drinking, no electrolyte
intake
What to do: Take electrolytes and drink
sports drink or water
Copyright SUCCEED! Sportsdrink LLC,
2007
 
Hydration: OK
Electrolytes LOW
Hyponatremia
Likelihood: mild form is common
Weight is normal
Stomach is queasy, with poor food
acceptance
Wrists may be puffy
Salty foods taste good
Thirst is normal
Mouth is moist – can spit
May have cramping
Causes: Insufficient electrolyte intake
What to do: Increase electrolyte intake until
stomach feels ok.
This information does not substitute for
medical diagnosis or treatment.
Hydration: HIGH
Electrolytes LOW
Hyponatremia with over-hydration  
Dangerous!Likelihood: moderateWeight is up a few pounds or more
Wrists and hands are puffy.
Nausea, stomach sloshing, possible
vomiting.
Thirst is low, and salty foods taste very good.
Athlete may show mental confusion, odd
behavior
Mouth is moist – can spit
Urination may be voluminous and crystal
clear
Causes: over-hydration, insufficient sodium
intake
What to do: Drink only to wet mouth until
weight is normal, then correct any sodium
deficit









Comments

  1. Because you’re a runner, I think you know that you are at risk for dehydration. And dehydration is closely linked to hyponatremia. In that respect, I would like to suggest sugar water for you. For each quart of water, add six tablespoons of sugar and 1/3 teaspoon of salt. That is enough to keep you hydrated and energized during a race.

    Leora Yang

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