We’ve all been there. We’re feeling under the weather so we head to the doctor’s office. After spending hours in a waiting room perusing a Women’s Home Journal from 1997, we finally see the man in the white coat, only for him to say, drink plenty of fluids and you’ll feel better.
Surely this can be a frustrating experience to learn that you just have to wait it out with a few over-the-counter painkillers and a constant flow of fluids. But here’s why hydration is important when you’re sick.
How Your Body Fights Sickness
Every function and organ in your body works at its best when they have enough water. The proteins that fight your sickness are even transported to the affected areas by fluids. When you’re dehydrated, these proteins have a much harder time getting where they’re going, meaning you’ll stay sick longer.
Fevers cause your body to lose water and if you’re already dehydrated, it’ll become a vicious cycle. Hydration also improves your oxygen flow which flushes out any toxins that are potentially making you sick.
In the case of vomiting or diarrhea, staying hydrated calms your digestive system, neutralizing these symptoms and when you’ve got a blocked nose from a cold, water will help dilute the build-up of secretions.
Ways You Can Hydrate to Fight Sickness
Here at KOR, we’re a big fan of water. So, we’ll be the first to say that clean, crisp, filtered water is going to be your best choice when fighting off the flu or a cold. Plus, there’s no need for an appetite to drink water so when you’re sick and aren’t in the mood for much, water is your best bet for staying hydrated.
You might also want to try hydrating with electrolytes, which are minerals like sodium and potassium. It's best to stay away from sugary sports drinks that contain electrolytes because it’s usually not worth it for how much not-so-good stuff you’ll be taking on as well.
Decaf tea is another smart way to stay hydrated when you’re not feeling so hot. Especially with a scratchy throat, tea will not only soothe where it hurts, but it gives you much needed water, too.
There’s a reason we have soup when we’re sick as well. Yes, sometimes it’s all we can stomach, but it’s also helping us stay hydrated. Stick with clear, brothy soups, like the classic sick day remedy chicken noodle soup, because they’ll be packed with water.
Hydration Prevents Sickness Too
Not only will staying hydrated help you while you’re sick, but it can also help prevent sickness from taking over in the first place. As previously mentioned, everything works better when your body is hydrated. So, making sure you’re keeping up with your water intake is essential.
Challenge yourself to drink six refills of your KOR One bottle or fill every reusable bottle you own and make sure to finish them all by day’s end. Drink a glass of water every time you take a break at work or infuse your water with some cucumbers to switch it up.
The point is, hydration is an easy fix for feeling sick and it helps your immune system fend off future bugs. And if those aren’t good enough reasons to up your water game, we don’t know what will be.