Hydration is key. No matter who you are or what you do, if you aren’t hydrated you probably aren’t performing at 100%.
I have always been a water girl. Not soda, not milk, occasionally juice, but really all I have ever drank is water. When it comes to POTS, this has been a godsend. I’m sure you’re thinking “Peyton, look at the picture you put above this, that is clearly not water.” And you’re right. We’ve discovered that simply drinking water is not enough for my hydration (I drink five to six liters of water a day, so volume really wasn’t the issue), and have been exploring supplements that I can add to make my water consumption more effective. If you’re interested in trying any of these drinks, I’ve included links to where you can find the supplements I use.
I always carry nuun with me and drink it once or twice a day, usually in the late morning when I start to get tired before lunch and sometimes in the evening. It comes in a small tube, with 8-12 tabs. Nuun has less than one gram of sugar (they recently added dextrose to their formula to aid in absorption) and is an all natural electrolyte supplement. It is dairy, gluten, and soy free making it safe for those with dietary restrictions. While some types contain caffeine, I use nuun active, which doesn’t. This is a sports drink alternative that I’d actually used when I did track and field a couple of years ago. Back then, I liked it because I could just throw it into my water bottle and didn’t have to worry about carrying a bunch of different bottles around, which still holds true today. If you’re looking for something simple but effective that can be used on the go, I definitely suggest trying nuun. There are a huge variety of flavors to choose from, and it can be found at most sporting goods stores, I usually pick it up at Dick’s or REI, and they also have it at Target. They have a store locator on their website, but when plugging in my zip code I noticed that not all of the retailers are actually listed, it was mainly smaller running stores. If you want to learn more about nuun, you can follow the link here. I typically get either strawberry lemonade or lemon lime, the flavors are more subtle and not overpowering like most energy drinks! Amazon has some of the best pricing.
I got Normalyte powder as a sample at the DI conference (read about my thoughts on that here) and it happens to be something that my physical therapist had been telling me to look into as well. The vendor at the conference told us to just pour the entire packet into a 750 ml water bottle, because it’s for 500 ml of water. I cannot emphasize enough how much I advise against this if you choose to try this drink. Not only is it fairly salty (which doesn’t bother me at this point, but I know bothers some people, so I’ll note that my mom thought it tasted like sea water), it was slimy. No thanks, I’ll pass on the slime, thank you. I ended up diluting it and being able to get it down, but some friends, who had also tried it, recommended taking it with juice. When I got home, my mom devised this mixture using the Normalyte.
16 oz water
teaspoon Normalyte powder (I use Normalyte pure, which is flavorless)
couple drops of trace minerals (I use these sometimes depending on how I feel)
I drink two of these each day, typically one with breakfast and one in the afternoon. When I was at the beach (read about my week in Emerald Isle, North Carolina here), my mom made this for her friend’s daughter who was tired and wanted to know what it tasted like and if it did anything. About halfway through the drink she perked up and said, “This is like liquid energy!” My mom made some for our ride home from the beach, and it was the only sort of energy drink she had, as her decaf coffee doesn’t count for anything. She was able to make it through the entire drive (seven hours on the road) without getting tired. She was amazed by how helpful the electrolytes were in keeping her awake and alert. One of my favorite things about Normalyte is that it’s for everyone, but it was created with the chronically ill in mind. If you want to learn more about Normalyte, click here, and if you want to try it out, head over to Amazon.
Gatorade is something I use in emergencies only, for energy and electrolytes. I don’t like anything with sweeteners or excessive amounts of sugar, but if I’m lying on the floor and just fainted or have an episode of pre-syncope, I won’t turn it down. It’s helpful in getting me moving, but ends with a small crash. When compounded with the events that landed me on the ground, it’s usually counterproductive. No links for this one, because you can find Gatorade virtually anywhere.
I hope you found this helpful! If you know a spoonie struggling to keep up with hydration, an athlete trying to beat the heat, or someone who feels they could just use a pick me up but doesn’t want the caffeine found in most energy drinks, don’t be afraid to share this with them!
Remember to subscribe if you never want to miss a post. Do you use any of these? How do you stay hydrated? Tell me in the comments below!