The popular solution of drinking isotonic drinks to alleviate fluid loss due to diarrhea is inadequate according to the expert.

Discomfort due to intestinal reasons is common.

Pharmacists advise against the use of isotonic sports drinks to help rehydration during gastroenteritisas they do not replace the nutrients or minerals lost as a result of diarrhea or vomiting.

It is a warning from the Spanish Society of Primary Care Pharmacists (SEFAP), which recommends the intake of oral rehydration solutions sold in pharmacy, since they have half the concentration of sodium and chlorine that sports drinks and four times more potassium.

Therefore, they are more effective when it comes to rehydration in the middle of gastroenteritis, a necessary and essential measure in the summer season, since high temperatures increase the risk of dehydration

Lucía Jamart, microbiologist and vocal in Madrid from SEFAP has detailed that isotonic drinks are theoretically designed to hydrate after a loss of fluid caused by physical exercise.

In this sense, remember that the composition of sweat is different from that of the liquid expelled by feces or vomit: “Sweat is rich in sodium and chlorine, while a significant amount of potassium is also lost in gastroenteritis”.

In addition, Jamart warns that the isotonic drinks that can be bought in supermarkets have very different compositions depending on the brand, and some of them have too many sugars and altogether “inadequate electrolyte concentration”.

What to eat and drink

First of all, in the first 12-24 hours after the onset of symptoms, it points out Marisa Barroso, Blua de Sanitas nurse, is important to drink oral rehydration serum, every so often, in small sips and on demand. As the portal of Patients of the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians It is important to drink small amounts of fluids (the most recommended are water and oral serum) on a regular basis.

On the other hand, neither sugary nor isotonic drinks should be taken, “since the sugar they contain can make diarrhea worse“, Says Barroso. Nor should we drink caffeinated drinks, “because they increase urine output (dehydrate) and can increase the number of stools”, nor should we drink carbonated soft drinks “because they damage the mucosa even more,” he adds.

Once that first period is over, it is important to gradually introduce “some dry carbohydrate (toast, breadsticks, etc.) so that the stomach settles, and infusions or clear defatted broth“Continues Barroso. We must go little by little, “we will reintroduce the solids cooked with little salt and with little oil, in a soft way, to facilitate their digestion and chewing”.

For example: mashed potatoes or carrots, fish or chicken soup, boiled rice, white meat and fish, etc.). “All of this in small quantities and without forcing. If the symptoms reappear, we will stop taking them and we will limit ourselves to drinking a few more hours ”.

Faced with a picture of diarrhea, it is important to take into account some recommendations. The most important – points out Barroso – are: divide the shots throughout the day, eat less food but more often; Eat slow and chew well; and drink plenty of fluids until fully recovered.

On the other hand, it is important to avoid very hot or cold temperatures; avoid the consumption of stimulants, tea, spices or sauces; avoiding the consumption of lactose and introducing whole and solid foods progressively – following the previous guidelines – until reaching a normal diet.