If you’re feeling under the weather, chances are someone has already told you to drink plenty of fluids — water to be exact. Despite sounding like your good, old-fashioned lip service, this advice is very accurate and can do wonders for your healing.
In this article, we’ll take you through the importance and benefits of drinking water when sick and staying hydrated while down with common illnesses such as cough, cold and the common flu.
When you’re sick, running a fever or suffering from the common cold or flu, your body works harder than usual to give you all the energy and strength you need to combat the virus or infection. This is why water and electrolytes are more likely to get drawn out of your body in the form of sweat; you also lose fluids as your body makes mucus and drains it outside your system.
All of these factors, coupled with extreme fatigue and tiredness, can result in higher chances of dehydration and excessive moisture release from your body.
During dehydration, sick people who experience vomiting or diarrhea on top of their main illnesses can also become weaker and more ill. Why? Because the body expels more liquids and drains more fluids out of one’s system.
Early signs of dehydration include increased thirst, extreme tiredness, difficulty urinating in regular amounts and fatigue. When it comes to severe symptoms, they usually include confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, and a rapid heart rate.
So when you’re sick, it’s always important to rehydrate your body with fluids and electrolytes — helping you replace all the fluids and electrolytes your body has lost while also loosening up the mucus in your system.
When you drink H2O, juice or increase your fluid intake, you’re giving your body the proper replenishment that it deserves to keep on going. This also includes relieving any congestion that you may be feeling as a result of the common cold and flu or even cough.
Total dissolved solids in mineral and spring water also help replenish the essential minerals and salts that our body needs to stay healthy. You won’t taste them, but these minerals are helping your body fight off your illness, so you can get better faster.
For good measure, doctors recommend “drinking an additional eight ounces of water than you normally would for every degree of body temperature you have over 98.8 degrees.” Drinking 64 ounces a day is also considered a good median baseline to vie for if you want to stay hydrated all throughout the day. This is especially true for people who are at a higher risk of running into dehydration while sick, such as elderly patients, young children and pregnant women.
But like with anything else, taking everything in moderation is also a rule that you should follow when drinking water to avoid overhydration. This is what happens when there’s an excess presence of liquids in the body, usually resulting in the imbalance of fluids in the system and dangerously low sodium levels in the blood.
Whether you’re down with the fever or nursing a common cold, it’s no doubt that consuming your fluids and staying hydrated is essential for your road to recovery. Paired with enough rest, a healthy diet and proper medication, you can make sure that you’ll be up and running again in no time.
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