Hydration Hacks for Sick Humans
Temperatures are dropping, and the kids are back at school—the perfect storm for spreading the common cold, stomach bugs and the flu. In other words, germs are about to enter your life in a major way. So, if you find yourself feeling under the weather, don’t underestimate the power of proper hydration.
WHY AM I DEHYDRATED?
Besides feeling ill, you might be wondering what else is different. Well, no matter the sickness—colds, stomach bugs or the flu alike—your body is probably losing more fluids than normal. That can happen through sweating out a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. In these instances, you’re expelling more fluids than you are replacing, causing dehydration. And dehydration can worsen your symptoms, like headaches, body aches, weakness and fatigue.
There are other factors that play into becoming dehydrated while sick, too. Often when we’re ill, we lose our appetite. Or at the very least, we don’t have the same appetite as we do when we’re feeling 100%. This can cause us to forget to eat or drink regularly, inhibiting dehydration. And, we often get some of our water from the foods we eat, so that’s another culprit.
Lastly, a lesser known reason we become dehydrated while sick is because cold and flu season occurs during colder weather. That means the air is drier, especially when you’re indoors with a heater on! While this doesn’t make a monumental difference, it still dries up your nose, eyes and mouth, which are all tell-tale signs of dehydration.
Keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to perfect hydration while sick. What’s for certain is that children and the elderly are much more at risk for dehydration in all cases, sick or well. And, while there’s no real evidence that hydration cures your cold, dehydration, on the other hand, can make you even sicker. So, it’s better to wait out that pesky cold properly hydrated than suffer through it dehydrated.
ON TO THE HACKS
When you’re feeling under the weather, it’s especially hard to be motivated to do, well, anything. Leaving your couch or bed becomes a huge task! But no worries. It’s fairly easy to keep yourself hydrated while you’re at home watching Netflix and chilling with your box of tissues.
Electrolyte it up – Drinks like Pedialyte are the perfect choice for hydration. Because when you’re losing fluids, you’re also losing electrolytes. Those are what keep your cells healthy, thus keeping a healthy body! There are great DIY recipes for this purpose, too. Electrolyte popsicles are an efficient way to help fight a fever, soothe a sore throat and get your electrolytes. Or, adding a pinch of salt to your water is another way to get your fill. Whatever it is: make sure it’s not sugary. Sugar can cause inflammation which could worsen your symptoms. Here’s an electrolyte beverage we know and love:
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups cold Primo® Water (or raw coconut water)
4 Tbsp organic maple syrup or raw honey
¼ tsp Himalayan or sea salt
Add all ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Enjoy cold. Makes four servings (98 calories per serving).
Veg out…literally – When your appetite is lacking, don’t try to force yourself to eat large meals. Instead, have something you can munch on throughout the day. Fruits and veggies are a great way to graze while feeling ill. Carrots, celery, watermelon, oranges and broths or soups (among others) have high water contents that can truly help you hydrate without slugging down an entire Hydroflask of water.
Make it teatime – Drinking hot, unsweetened tea of any variation can help you hydrate, too. While offering a range of other benefits, like soothing a sore throat and offering antioxidants, tea mostly consists of water. Water is the ultimate way to hydrate, and while it might be unappealing on its own, tea is a great way to give your sick body a healing treat.
IN SICKNESS & IN HEALTH, CHOOSE PRIMO
If you’re sick, it’s important to make sure you’re replenishing your body’s vital fluids. That means choosing Primo® Water for all your hydration needs! Tap water might seem convenient, but it poses more health risks in the long run. Tap water is often riddled with heavy metals, toxic chemicals and harmful bacteria that are sure to make your conditions worse, sick or not.
Primo® Water undergoes a 5-step Reverse Osmosis (RO) purification process that eliminates all harmful microorganisms, heavy metals, trace pharmaceuticals and more. That means better, safer water for using a Neti Pot, making hot tea, for quenching your thirst, or even for making soup! Water should play a big role in your day if you’re feeling ill, so make sure you have Primo on hand to help. Use our handy zip code locator to find Primo near you!