Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Umoren, Josephine M.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences


Hyponatremia--Alternative treatment; Sodium in the body--Health aspects; Energy drinks--Health aspects


Background: Hyponatremia is a condition in which serum sodium levels are less than 135 mmol/L. It is the most prevalent sodium disorder in hospitalized patients. Currently, the most commonly used treatment for the condition include fluid restriction, carefully monitored hypertonic IV solution and diuretic therapy. In athletes with hyponatremia, low serum sodium levels have been corrected with the administration of an isotonic beverage. Therefore, giving Gatorade® to patients with hyponatremia may be an alternative treatment method to increase serum sodium levels. Objective: The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of oral Gatorade® protocol on serum sodium levels of hospitalized elderly patients with hyponatremia. Methods: In this randomized control experimental study, subjects were randomly assigned to the experimental (n=15) or control group (n=15). Ten participants were on a fluid-restricted diet; 20 participants did not have a fluid restriction. In the experimental group, there were five participants on fluid restriction and ten participants not on a fluid restriction. The same composition was found in the control group. The participants were enrolled in the study for seven days. Over those seven days, the participants in the fluid restriction were given water or Gatorade® with their medicine. Participants not on a fluid restriction were given 4 oz. of water or Gatorade® at each meal. Serum sodium levels were tested before and after the study. The foods and beverages consumed during the study were documented and total sodium consumed was calculated. The hypothesis was tested using ANOVA and paired-samples t-test. Results: The results of this study found there was not a significant difference between serum sodium levels of patients with hyponatremia who were given Gatorade®, as compared to water, when not on a fluid-restricted diet. There was a significant difference (p < .05) between pre- and post-test serum sodium levels in non-fluid-restricted participants consuming Gatorade® and all participants on a fluid-restricted diet. Conclusions: These results suggest that patients with hyponatremia who are not on a fluid-restricted diet may benefit from receiving Gatorade® with meals.


Advisors: Josephine Umoren.||Committee members: Sheila Barrett; Judith Lukaszuk.||Includes bibliographical references.


iv, 67 pages




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