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Electrolit: A Mexican solution for surviving the heat

May is the hottest month of the year in these parts, until—hopefully—the heat wave comes to an abrupt halt in June with the onset of the rainy season and pleasantly cool weather throughout the summer.

pg8aMay is doubly rough on hikers because it’s not only the hottest month, but also the driest. Hills turn brown and la maleza (the underbrush) shrivels up. On top of that, many oak trees actually drop their leaves throughout April, leaving much of Mexico tinder-box dry in the month of May, with shade at a premium, if it can be found at all.

Therefore, in May hikers typically rise at dawn, hoping to beat the heat. In case they’re not successful, many escape the worst consequences of dehydration thanks to what is popularly called suero in this country.

Suero translates to “oral rehydration solution (ORS),” similar to what is found in an IV drip: an isotonic liquid that matches the salinity and electrolyte content of blood.

These days, fortunately, you can find an ORS at every convenience store in Mexico. Just ask for suero at your local Oxxo and you’ll be handed a square bottle that looks medicinal and is medicinal. It’s called Electrolit, an isotonic beverage which has been made in Mexico for over 70 years and rehydrates athletes not only in Latin America, but now, also in the United States.

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