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Hydration Multiplier 

Hydration has finally received its well-deserve 15min of fame.  The body is 60% water, your muscles are 80%, besides air, lack of water is the next thing that’s gonna kill you. So it’s no wonder that products like Liquid I.V. have exploded. Most people don’t drink enough water and when they see an image that shows: one glass of water, magically turn into three…you’re hooked! But be careful, you can drown in all these “infographics”…let’s find out if…

Liquid I.V really holds water!

Q: What is Liquid I.V.

A: It’s a brand of products that have been marketed to enhance hydration. An electrolyte drink mix that can be found from in a variety of retail locations – from gas stations to grocery stores. You add the powder to water and it claims to give you better hydration and more nutrients – electrolytes, vitamins, minerals. 

Q: What are the main ingredients & concept?

A: Sugar, Sodium & Potassium, B-Vitamins. The formula is not, in the truest sense, science-based, but it follows guidelines. These guidelines were set by the World Health Organization to help individuals in cases of fatal dehydration from diarrhea (Oral Rehydration Therapy – ORT). When you have severe diarrhea you lose Water, but also Electrolytes – Sodium and Potassium, and Energy – which sugar gives you energy. 

Q: Does it “multiply” your hydration? 

A: No, it does not turn 1 glass of water to 3. Nor does it allow you to be able to retain the equivalent of 3 glasses of water if you drink 1. Your body is very smart, if it wants and needs water, it will force you to go get it (thirst) and you will hold on to it, holding onto excess water is dangerous (its called Edema).

Q: Does it hydrate “faster than water alone”?

A: Yes, probably. The reason is the electrolytes. The body and cells absorb based on gradients, if there is more of one electrolyte outside of the cell vs inside, it will pull it in, and vice versa.  This is how you can hydrate faster, create a more active environment to absorb. 

Q: Is hydrating faster an advantage? 

A: Do you have severe diarrhea? Ha, kidding. For most people, faster is not better. For athletes, running a marathon let’s say, having quick hydration can be valuable. For the sick, who are losing hydration fast (e.g. severe diarrhea), also valuable. For me, even with all the things I do in sport, not really. 

Q: Is it dangerous?

A: For most of us, No. Be careful if you have kidney issues or pregnant. There is 500mg of sodium (22% of Daily Value), most people’s diets are filled with sodium, so be careful how much you consume, I would take one packet and put in 40-50 ounces of water, drink through the day. 

Q: Is it worth it (for me)?

A: It’s about $1.50 per stick, that’s pretty steep for some sugar and (2) electrolytes, which 98% of the time, I don’t need in those amounts. I don’t believe I will become severally dehydrated and not be able to do anything about it (e.g. get to water), and I drink enough water through the day. I get enough minerals through my diet. 

Q: How best to use Liquid I.V.

A: Drink (1) per day. Mix with as much water as you can – the whole point is to drink more water. Workouts that are 2+ hours, drink 30 to 40min before and after. If you’ve hit a really intense workout, where you sweated a lot, drink ½ a serving after your workout.