Fluid and Electrolyte Replacement

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Have just noticed glaring hole in the personal preparedness material I've come across. Don't forget to stock electrolyte and fluid replacement drinks like Pedialyte--especially if you have young children or elderly folks in your family. These can be lifesavers in cases of dehydration resulting from food and water borne illnesses. Sports drinks aren't good enough--too fruity. I know this is a survival "tip," but I just have to get it out in as many places as possible. Pass it on. Thanks.

-- Amy Marsh (canaryclub@aol.com), October 25, 1999


Saw this recently and it looks good:


One teaspoon of "Lite Salt" (by Morton, 1/2 iodized potassium chloride, 1/2 sodium chloride in a blue cylinder)

1/3 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate),

10 teaspoons of table sugar (sucrose),

one quart of water.

That happens to be a life saving fluid replacement and partial electrolyte expedient replacement. At least it is expedient if you have had the foresight to purchase the above three items BEFORE an emergency happens while it is readily available and very cheap. Many people die in times of emergency because of fluid losses. This can be from burns, vomiting, or diarrhea. The body needs water and certain water soluble chemicals to function. If either or both of these drop below a certain level, you die. There are many non-fatal diseases like cholera that become fatal due to lack of simple things like proper fluid replacement. If you have ever had a bad case of diarrhea and start to have pain in your muscles or joints, congratulations, you have had the early warning symptoms of a potassium deficiency.

For ease of purchasing the items for this formula, Morton Lite Salt comes in a 11 oz. light blue cylinder. Baking soda a 1 or 4 pound box. Sugar 5, 10, or 25 pound sack. To make approximately 300 quarts of the solution you need 5 - 11 oz. units of Morton's Lite salt, 1 - 1 pound box of baking soda, and 25 pounds of sugar.

-- Toothperson (a@a.a), October 26, 1999.

Maybe I'm the only one who assumed Morton Lite Salt would be difficult to find, but it was right there with the regular salt in the supermarket. I plastered a copy of the fluid replacement recipe on the containers so I won't lose it - one in the kitchen cabinet and one in the medicine chest.

-- Brooks (Brooksbie@hotmail.com), October 26, 1999.

Thanks Toothperson for the recipe and fuller explanation of the importance of this. I found this home recipe (below) with a caution about giving to children under 12.) Please check with your pediatrician about using these home mixtures with children. They may be too strong for them. That's why stocking Pedialyte, or a similar pediatric commercial fluid replacement drink might be the best (but more costly option) if there are children in the house.

According to the Kaiser Permanente Healthwise Handbook 1994, a home fluid rehydration drink for people OVER the age of 12 can be made by mixing: 1 qt. water 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. table salt 3 to 4 teaspoons sugar (if available, 1/4 tsp. salt substitute ("Lite Salt") DO NOT GIVE THIS TO CHILDREN UNDER AGE 12. Also, I said "too fruity" about sports drinks, I meant "too sugary."

-- Amy Marsh (canaryclub@aol.com), October 27, 1999.

Might be good to point out that the primary need for electrolytes is when there is massive and extended diarrhea.

The best and safest source of electrolytes is food....for example the residual water in canned veggies, rehydrated dried milk or protein drinks, also products like beef jerky and power bars...even bread.

Remember that acid foods and fruit juices may cause diarrhea.

Imodium is a drug which is now available over the counter...a good thing to have in the medicine cabinet anyway.

-- Thomas Gilligan (thomgill@eznet.net), October 27, 1999.

In certain foodborne diseases, Immodium is NOT recommended for use. Specofoc food/water borne diseases & their prevention & treatment are detailed in the excellent "Bad Bug Book". You can find it online at:


Here is a variation on the rehydration recipe. This one is from the WHO:

1 quart water 1 cup orange juice 1 teaspoon table salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 4 tablespoons sugar

-- Sue Smith (ssmith30@home.com), October 30, 1999.

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