Member Portal

A safe and vetted space to explore Recipes, Supplementation, Probiotics, Food Based Approaches, Nutrients, and IBD Q&As

Hydration Guidelines

Hydration, Membership

Quality Rating

We typically recommend replacing electrolytes if you are experiencing diarrhea 4-5x or more per day. This is especially important during the hotter summer months or if you have had surgery to your lower colon, as in a J-pouch. When a child has 3+ loose stools/day, begin oral rehydration strategies (ORS).

Products to consider: 

  • Mild-moderately dehydrated; daily considerations: 
    • Coconut water
    • Ultima 
    • PNG electrolytes 
    • Pedialyte Clear 
    • Earthland’s Best 
    • Bumble Root 
    • Cure Hydration 
  • Very dehydrated; moderate training 
    • Klean Hydration 
    • Nuun 
    • Liquid IV not recommended (contains lots of sugar and silicon dioxide**) 
  • Intense training; extreme heat; games
    • Gatorade Perform Series 
    • Skratch 
    • Drip Drop
    • Precision Hydration 1000
  • Heavy sweaters; endurance; altitude
    • The Right Stuff
    • LMNT 
    • Gatorlytes 
    • Precision Hydration 1500

Oral rehydration therapy is the mainstay treatment to correct dehydration.

Homemade ORS: 

  • Gatorade G2 + ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups tomato juice + 1 ½ cups water 
  • ¾ cups juice + 3 ¼ cups water + ¾ tsp salt 
  • 2 T lemonade powder + 4 cups water + ¾ tsp salt 
  • DIY Gatorade: 2 cups pomegranate juice (or juice of choice), 2 cups coconut water, 1/4 tsp salt 


Other times when hydration becomes an important factor is in exercise/sport:

  • When exercising for long periods of time strenuously, greater than 1 hour or are doing difficult interval workouts 
  • When exercising in warm weather 
  • When exercising at altitude, especially if you have just traveled to a higher altitude area

Electrolyte Intake & Losses 

Adequate Intake Recommended Daily Intake for Athletes Amount Lost in 1 L of Sweat Function
Sodium 1300 mg 2400 mg+ 460-1840 mg/L Acid-base balance, fluid balance, nerve impulses, muscle contraction
Potassium 4,700 mg 2500-3400 mg 160-380 mg/L Fluid balance, nerve impulses, muscle contraction, protein & glycogen synthesis
Magnesium 240-420 mg 500-800 mg 0-36 mg/L Carb & protein  metabolism, neuromuscular contraction
Calcium 1000-1300 mg 1000-1300 mg 0-120 mg/L Formation of bone & teeth, muscle contraction, nerve impulse, blood clotting
Chloride  1300 mg 710-2840 mg/L Acid-base balance, fluid balance, nerve impulses 

*Salty sweaters can benefit from higher amounts of sodium in their daily diets

Electrolytes are essential minerals – sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium that have many different functions in the body. These minerals are primarily required for: 

  • Fluid balance
  • Blood pressure
  • Muscle contraction
  • Nerve function 

                      We lose electrolytes primarily through sweat and urine, but we can also lose them by vomiting and diarrhea. If you are dehydrated and low in electrolytes, you might experience fatigue, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps, blood pressure changes, low energy, and just feeling off. 

We all know that electrolytes are necessary for hydration, but did you know that salt, sugar, and water help your body absorb fluids? Some products on the market have higher amounts of carbohydrates and electrolytes (particularly sodium) in them in order to provide a more hydrating option for higher intensity exercisers or more severe dehydration. 

For mild-moderate dehydration (1-2% loss of body weight, ~5 bouts of diarrhea/day, daily considerations), you might consider using products like Pedialyte Clear, Earthlands Best, Cure, or Bumble Root. Look for: 

  • 100-300 mg sodium
  • 0-10 g carbohydrates
  • 100-300 mg potassium

For moderate-severe dehydration (>5 bouts of diarrhea/day, very dry mouth, skin that doesn’t bounce back quickly when pinched) or moderate intensity and duration exercise (>60 min), consider using products like Klean Hydration or Nuun tablets. Remember, it’s always important to discuss with your healthcare provider what options are available. It may be necessary to get IV fluids in some situations. Look for: 

  • 300-500 mg sodium 
  • 0-10 g carbohydrates
  • 70+ mg potassium 
  • 25 mg magnesium

For more severe dehydration (dark yellow infrequent urine, rapid, weak pulse, dizziness), intense training, or heavy sweaters (especially in excessive heat or altitude) consider using products like The Right Stuff, LMNT, or Gatorlytes. Look for: 

  • 1000 mg sodium
  • 0-15 g carbohydrates
  • 200-500 mg potassium
  • 40-60 mg magnesium