While hydration is always critical, appropriate rehydration during illness is key. It’s important to know that not all rehydration solutions are created equal. Key ingredients like electrolytes- sodium, chloride and potassium- and glucose can affect your ability to rehydrate if they are not properly balanced.
How Hydration Promotes Good Health
Water is part of every cell in your body, making it essential to everyday health. That’s why making sure you stay well hydrated is crucial when your body is trying to fight a virus.
When your body is sick with the flu or another type of virus, there are common symptoms that can lead to dehydration including fever, coughing, diarrhea and vomiting in addition to a loss of appetite. And, if you aren't getting enough fluids, your body may have difficultly regulating its’ temperature. Even small fluid losses can contribute to increased body temperatures.
Proper hydration can help the skin and mucous membrane cells act as a barrier to prevent bacteria from entering the body. Proper hydration helps decrease nasal irritation when coughing, sneezing and even just breathing.
Dehydration Affects the Whole Body
Even mild dehydration can have a big impact on the way you feel. Research shows that losing just 2% of your body's water can negatively affect mood, memory and coordination. And, sometimes, the body's thirst mechanism isn't always 100 percent accurate. Often, by the time you start to feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.
As dehydration progresses, your blood becomes more concentrated, which can affect several internal organs. This means your kidneys suddenly must work harder to hold onto water, and your heart has the additional strain of maintaining blood pressure. Signs of dehydration include:
Stay Hydrated to Help You Recover from a Virus
All fluids aren't created equal when it comes to effectively preventing and alleviating the symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration. There are special minerals, also called electrolytes, like sodium, potassium and chloride, that help the body maintain fluid balance and keep the cells in our bodies working properly. It is important to get the right balance of electrolytes, glucose and sodium to ensure the best rehydration possible.
The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend an oral electrolyte solution like Pedialyte® for relieving mild to moderate dehydration from virus-related vomiting and diarrhea. While juice and sports drinks might seem like good choices when you're feeling ill, their high sugar content can make stomach problems like nausea and diarrhea worse.
Pedialyte has an optimal ratio of important electrolytes and just enough sugar to help cells bring in water more effectively, replacing what is lost during illness.
Staying hydrated may help you bounce back faster should you be hit with a respiratory virus. If you need help restoring critical fluids and electrolytes, try sipping a liter or two of Pedialyte throughout the day. And, consulting your doctor is always the best course of action when you need to get better ASAP.
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