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How Important is Hydration When You’re Sick?

As a pain management professional, my patient’s health — from head to toe —is my priority. Sure, I commonly treat pain conditions, such as TMJ, headaches and migraines, and craniofacial pain. But, total body health and wellness is important too.

And, it’s especially important this time of year as we head into cold and flu season. Thus, today, I wanted to touch on the topic of hydration.

You’ve probably heard the old mantra: Be sure to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids when you’re sick.

But why is it so important? And, what exactly should you be drinking when you’re under the weather?

First, and foremost, it’s important to stay hydrated every day by drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily. But when you’re sick it’s even more critical because dehydration can make your symptoms worse! Dehydration leads to sinus dryness, pressure, and even nausea and vomiting. If you spike a fever, you can dehydrate yourself even faster than normal. It’s important to replace the fluids you’re losing with new ones.

What Should You Drink When You’re Sick?

Here’s what to reach for when you’re sick:

  • Water – Consuming plenty of water will help you replace what you’re losing. And, it doesn’t contain any tooth-harmful additives.
  • Tea – Since tea contains water, it will help you stay hydrated while also providing additional benefits. Many used to think that tea dehydrated you, but that myth has been debunked. Green tea, for example, can inhibit unfriendly mouth bacteria.
  • Soups/Broths –These are a good way to keep food down while sick. Water-based soups and broths will help hydrate you while the heat will reduce any mucus buildup.

What Drinks Should You Avoid When You’re Sick?

  • Sugary drinks Beverages like sports drinks and fruit juices can seem like a good choice when you’re sick, but they don’t help with hydration. The added sugar isn’t mouth-friendly and can lead to tooth decay. If you absolutely must consume them, make sure to mix in water and brush your teeth 30 minutes afterward.
  • Alcohol — While there are a few tall-tale alcoholic remedies, drinks containing alcohol should be avoided while sick. Alcohol dehydrates you and can dry out your mucus membranes, leading to more of that gross green goop coming out of your nose. And no one wants that.

Can You Become Too Hydrated?

Yes, you can over-hydrate yourself. Your body can have so much hydration that it depletes your sodium level. This is known as hyponatremia. Although rare, it can occur if you’re overzealous with your fluid intake.

Don’t let this stop you from hydrating while sick. Just use your thirst as a gauge. If you’re thirsty, that’s a sign that your body is looking to replace fluids.

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta® treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.