Rehydrating Liquid From Household Ingredients

This Article/Recipe was contributed by a guest and although there is not a drop of RUM anywhere in the ingredients Captain Morgan gave the seal of approval so Post it we shall!

How To Mix An Oral Rehydration Solution

From Household Ingredients

My 5 year old son was sick recently and was taking antibiotics due to a high probability that he was suffering from pneumonia. After taking the Amoxicillin for a few days, he began to experience some diarrhea. This, in itself, is not something to be overly concerned about since it is a fairly common side effect of the medication.

We were able to ensure that he remained hydrated by getting him to drink Gatorade, which should be diluted to half-strength when used for this purpose. However, it made me think about what we could have done if he had become significantly dehydrated and we did not have access to commercially made products like Gatorade.

Gastrointestinal illness and the resulting diarrhea is a big problem in many parts of the world. The dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities that it causes can kill you. It’s especially dangerous for children. You see, it’s not just water that you’re losing when you experience diarrhea. You’re also losing sodium (salt), potassium, bicarbonate, and other things. Without getting too technical, I’ll just say that large fluctuations in things like sodium and potassium can be life threatening and even fatal.

Replacing the water is important, but you must replace the other things too. In fact, drinking a lot of plain water when you’re seriously dehydrated can actually make things worse.

I remembered seeing a recipe for a homemade oral rehydration solution in a book that I have called A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine by Eric A. Weiss, MD. The recipe mirrors what the World Health Organization recommends but uses household items. Here’s what you’ll need to mix up 1 liter of the drink:

1 liter of water that is safe to drink
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of baking soda
4 tablespoons of sugar
4 teaspoons of cream of tartar

To be honest, I didn’t know what cream of tartar was when I first read the list and I wasn’t sure if we had any. It turns out that it is used for baking and, according to my wife, there’s a good chance that most people have some in their kitchen. For the purpose of rehydration, we’re using it as a source of potassium.
To make the drink, you just mix all of the ingredients into the liter of water. I noticed that some “fizzing” happened as I mixed it together but it stopped within a minute or two.

What does it taste like? Well, it’s salty, which is not surprising. However, the sugar helps even things out and I didn’t find it to be unpleasant. I won’t be mixing these up for dinner guests but you wouldn’t have to force yourself to drink it.

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