For those of you who are interested, the key to getting through long road trips quickly is to not stop driving. (That includes not stopping by driving off the road & crashing into something... that's just poor form.) This may seem obvious, but it's not always easy advice to follow - or to follow safely. The biggest rest stop culprits are usually food & bathrooms, both of which ya kinda need.
But don't rehydrate too quickly! Too much water too quickly can cause hyponatremia & water intoxication, which can result in death in extreme cases. This can even be a danger when you drink too much during marathons or other athletic events. A great explanation can be found here. The idea is that your body is a mix of water and a lot of other things, like electrolytes. If you drink too much fluid that is hypotonic (has less "stuff" in it than in your body's normal mix) than you water everything down. (Gatorade, for example, is isotonic so this should not occur if it's mixed properly.) The first thing that dilutes is the fluid outside your cells, and in order to find an equilibrium, water then rushes into cells and causes swelling. If enough water rushes into your cells (including brain cells!) your brain can herniate when the cells swell and no longer fit in your skull. Hey... it's not that big a place.
What are the signs of water intoxication? They include weight gain (over the course of a race or long run...), changes in mental status, vomiting, nausea, headaches and seizures. You may also experience swelling of the hands and feet and a worsening headache. Since these symptoms can be confused with heat stroke, it's important to note that with water intoxication your temperature should be within the normal range.
Wow. Sorry. My inner geek is showing. I'll stop now so everyone will wake back up.
And speaking of bathrooms, it's sad how much I laughed when I saw this on my drive:
|Yup. That says BM.|