water being spilled over an orange

How to Recover From Alcohol- or Coffee-Induced Dehydration

Alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics. Diuretics cause you to urinate more, which in turn causes you to lose fluids more quickly and at a higher rate than normal, and this causes dehydration. Dehydration can be dangerous if you do not treat it soon enough or efficiently.

Let’s discuss ways you can recover from dehydration caused by coffee or alcohol consumption.

How much water do I need?

Most people need to drink at least eight glasses (64 fluid ounces) of water each day. Another popular guideline that some argue may be more accurate is to drink half of the number of your body weight in water each day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces of water every day.

For each cup of coffee, you drink, you should drink one cup of water in order to counteract the dehydrating diuretic effect of the coffee you have consumed.

Keep in mind that although coffee and alcohol do contain water, you should not count these beverages toward your daily water intake because they can make you dehydrated or worsen existing dehydration.

Drink more fluids

This tip is probably the first thing you think of when you start feeling dehydrated. It is the easiest, most surefire way to stay hydrated. Plain water is your best bet, but if you want to change things up, you can try fresh fruit juice, herbal teas (these do not contain caffeine), and smoothies.

If it is cold outside (or if you don’t mind eating hot foods in hot weather), you can have some soup or plain broth. This is another way to hydrate. If you are feeling sick to your stomach, weak, plain broth may be a good option because it will hydrate and nourish you while still being easy on your stomach.

Remember that you do not need to guzzle water to combat dehydration. You can take some sips every 10-30 minutes throughout the day, which will get the job done.

Try coconut water

Another drink you should consider is coconut water. It contains high amounts of amino acids, calcium, and potassium. The electrolytes in coconut water will also give you increased energy. It is a natural, healthier source of electrolytes than sports drinks full of artificial colors, sugar, or artificial sweeteners.

If you can opt for organic coconut water. If the nutrition facts label lists additives, sugars, or preservatives, you should choose a different brand.

Eat your water

Fruits and vegetables such as berries, melons, celery, and leafy greens naturally contain high amounts of water.

Take oral rehydration salts

Oral rehydration salts (ORS) can be found in your local pharmacy or health food store. If you prefer, you can make your own at home by combining salt, sugar, and water. They are particularly useful if you are severely dehydrated and/or if your dehydration is caused by diarrhea or another health issue.

ORS contains a combination of nutrients such as electrolytes and glucose that work to normalize your hydration and fluid levels.

IV therapy

Another option for treating dehydration – especially severe dehydration – is IV (intravenous) therapy. You may even be able to have a trained professional come to your home and administer your IV therapy for you so that you do not need to worry about inserting and removing the IV yourself, which could injure you if you do not do it properly.

So, how does IV therapy work? A small needle will be inserted into a vein in the crook of your arm or the back of your hand. The needle is used to make an opening to allow a small, flexible plastic tube to go into your vein. The other end of the tube will be attached to a bag that contains fluids such as IV fluids, electrolytes, minerals, and vitamins. The fluids will go through the tube and directly into your bloodstream.

Because the fluids are delivered directly to your bloodstream, IV therapy will rehydrate you faster than anything you can eat or drink. This is because drinks and foods must go through your digestive system before they can reach your bloodstream and begin working. The digestion process can take hours. In comparison, IV therapy begins to take effect immediately.

For mild cases of dehydration, eating fruits and vegetables such as berries and celery that contain high amounts of water and drinking more fluids such as coconut water, herbal teas, juice, smoothies, and water, is usually enough to get you back to normal hydration levels. However, conditions such as diarrhea and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration. If you are dealing with severe dehydration, oral rehydration salts and IV therapy are stronger, fast-acting options to treat your dehydration.

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