Healthy Living

The Flu and Fluids: How Hydration Helps

Dec 12 2019
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Got the flu? Get healthy faster with these hydration tips.

Flu symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever make it easy to become dehydrated. Although hydration is important when you’re feeling well – it’s even more critical when you’re ill.

When your body loses more liquids than you’re consuming, you can become dehydrated. Typically, this can be treated at home by increasing your fluid intake as soon as you start feeling under the weather.

According to Emily Simpson, M.D., a Mercy Health infectious diseases physician, hydration is an important part of dealing with the flu if you get it.

“Dehydration increases susceptibility of infection and complicates infection if you get it,” she says.

How to get hydrated:

  • First and foremost, drink water. You can even add in some lemon juice for a dose of vitamin C.
  • Try drinks with electrolytes too. They can help replace the minerals and liquids you’ve lost while sick.
  • Consume warm broths. Clear liquid broth has vitamins and electrolytes that help rehydrate.
  • Stay away from drinks high in sugar and caffeine as well as alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid coffee as well. Try decaf teas with chamomile, ginger, mint, or licorice root. Each has various properties that can help sooth you and fight off illness.

It is possible to take in too many liquids if you have certain health conditions. Therefore, if you have an ongoing health condition and become sick, it’s important to connect with your doctor.

Also, if you are at high risk of flu complications, are very sick, or concerned about your illness, contact your health care provider right away.

Did you know?

If you have a Mercy Health MyChart, you can request care through an Evisit. These online visits allow you to connect with a trusted Mercy Health provider who can diagnose non-urgent medical conditions all from the comfort of your own home.


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