The Pulse

First Aid & Nutrition

Jun 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

In the near future, expeditions to remote destinations (where emergency help can be days away) will most likely carry the new SUPERBANDAGE from Oregon-based HemCon. Developed for the U.S. Army, these large adhesive bandages are coated with a mixture of vinegar and chitosan, a product culled from shrimp shells, to produce a positive electrical charge that bonds to the negative charge of red blood cells. What happens next sounds like sci-fi: Within a minute, the concoction stimulates clotting effective enough to stop a gushing artery. So, with these babies, there's no need for Ramboesque self-stitching in the field. Given the $139 price tag, however, finances may dictate that you not get hurt in the first place. (503-245-0459,

It might sound blasphemous to our "low salt, no fat" mindset, but a small order of salted potato chips or French fries qualifies as a legit rehydration strategy after strenuous exercise, especially during the hot and humid days to come. "In the summer, the most important first step to take after vigorous exercise is to DOWN A TALL GLASS OF WATER AND EAT SOME SALTY FOODS," says Ed Ryan, director of sports medicine for the U.S. Olympic Committee. "I don't care where it comes from, just get some salt." Ryan says that until you replenish the sodium and chloride electrolytes (a.k.a. salt) lost through sweat, your body can't rehydrate properly, and liquids quickly exit in the form of urine. Granted, he's not endorsing a fast-food habit—low-fat pretzels work just as well—but he's adamant about your body's need for an ounce or two of salty food (say, ten to 12 potato chips, typically about 200 mg of sodium) following a hard workout. Proper hydration should outweigh any concern you might have over the fat content of a few fries.

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