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Isotonic -- Does not alter salt concentration in your blood. There is no disruption of water/salt balance.
Hypertonic Fluids -- This adds salt to your blood and now surrounding tissues have less salt. Water moves into your blood.
This is not hydrating because water that moves into your blood is trying to re-establish correct balance. It's not extra water to help hydrate but needed water to reach proper balance.
Steps to Proper Hydration
Because of our high salt diets, most Americans need to drink filtered water. However, it's not necessary to drink 15 glasses a day that some diet plans recommend.
Instead, drink 1 glass of filtered water with each meal and drink an additional 2 glasses of filtered water throughout day. This should come out to about 5-7 glasses of filtered water per day for most Americans (that's assuming your eating proper number of meals per day).
The remaining fluids you drink need to have same amount of salt as your blood. This type of fluid keeps your blood isotonic to surrounding tissues. Isotonic fluids have no net effect on moving water and you sustain a proper level of hydration.
The best isotonic fluid to drink (in my opinion), diluted gatorade. Mix water with gatorade in equal proportions and enjoy! Drink as much as you like since it's isotonic to your blood and won't cause water to move into or out of your blood.
Think more in terms of proper hydration and not disrupting water/salt balance your body worked hard at creating. It's not about drinking more water, but more about drinking right fluids.
To Healthy Living!
Michael A. Smith, MD
Chief Medical Consultant
Diet Basics Website
Dr. Smith is a weight management and preventative medicine expert. He currently is the Chief Medical Consultant for the Diet Basics website. Please visit his site at www.weight-loss-professional.com