Maintaining optimum hydration in the desert is hard enough on a regular basis. It is even harder if you are an athlete. When you are exercising regularly, or training for an event, you lose water, as well as electrolytes. These can be hard to replace in a short period of time and can affect your performance. Athletes can lose gallons of water during a century ride. It is a well known fact that Tour de France riders get IV’s regularly at the end out Tour segments. These losses can greatly affect performance, as well as a person’s rest that night.
Dehydration is caused by a number of issues. Water losses, as well as electrolyte losses occur. These losses reduce the ability of the body to react and perform.
At HH, we use a solution called “Lactated Ringers.” The base for this is normal saline, which is 0.9% sodium chloride. This salt replaces vital salt that is lost during exercise. It also contains approximately 60mg of potassium, or about 4 meq. Potassium is another crucial electrolyte that is lost during exercise and is hard for the body to absorb. It also contains lactate. Lactate is a compound that is used during metabolism in muscles. It also reduces acidity, as it can absorb a proton (hydrogen ion.) It is not the same compound as lactic acid. It is more or less the opposite of lactic acid, as lactic acid causes acidity. Lactate reduces acidity, which is important, as most people become more acidic as they become dehydrated. For our rehydration, we also add a modified Myer’s cocktail. This contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12. It also contains Vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium. To counteract the oxidative effects of strenuous activity, the powerful antioxidant, Glutathione is added to the performance hydration therapy.
It is very difficult for the body to absorb large amounts of water from the stomach during a short period of time. MMA athletes cut large amounts of weight prior to a weigh-in, mostly water weight. A person can feel bloated and end up with diarrhea and difficulty eating when they try to drink large amounts of water to replace these losses. Intravenous fluids are the quickest and best way to replace these losses.
It takes approximately thirty to forty five minutes to one hour to infuse 1 liter of fluid in an athlete. This is the equivalent of drinking one and a half gallons of water. This also replaces vital electrolytes and vitamins. There is no better way to get vitamins and electrolytes into the body other than the intravenous route.