Most people know that it’s important to your overall health to drink plenty of fluids. However, “plenty” of fluids is dependent on an individual’s size, normal water intake, output of sweat, diet, etc. The primary goal of adequate fluids is to prevent dehydration which classically presents as one being lightheaded, dizzy or confused, racing heart, or dry mouth.
Hydration is particularly important when feeling ill. When we get sick, we often neglect eating and drinking normally. Additionally, when ill there is increased fluid loss (sweating, blowing nose, vomiting, etc.). It is greatly beneficial to give your body fluids and electrolytes to fight off illness.
Different Types of Fluids
- Water = best
- Pedialyte gives flavors and electrolytes
- Contains salt = keeps fluids in blood vessels and maintains blood pressure
- Avoid too many sugary, caffeinated, and alcoholic drinks
- Increase urination leading to fluid loss
- A good option for children: diluted apple juice
- Cold beverages for staying hydrated
- Advantage: you can drink it more quickly than hot beverages
- Hot drinks
- Advantage: may help relieve runny nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, chills, and tiredness
- Chicken soup: anti-inflammatory effects and eases symptoms of upper respiratory infections
- Salt, electrolytes, warm, extra fluid
How Much is Plenty?
Eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is the general guideline but the exact amount depends on person size, activity level, metabolism, diet, location in a cold or warm climate, and other factors. Thirst and urine color (should be mostly clear) are consistent indicators. This may be the easiest indicator of the amount of water/fluid ingested.
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