You often hear a lot of experts talk about dehydration prevention and what you can do to avoid becoming dehydrated. However, at one point or another, we have all been slightly dehydrated. So I started thinking, how long does it take to rehydrate your body?
After doing some research I came across a recent study from The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. In this article, researchers suggest it only requires 45 minutes, and 20.3 oz (600 ml) of water to cure mild dehydration.
In the remainder of this article, I will go further into the details of this research, and how you can apply these results to yourself. I will also discuss common symptoms of dehydration so you are aware of when you need to take action. Finally, I will discuss hydration drinks as well as foods rich in water. In addition to water, both of these will help speed up the process of rehydrating your body.
How Long To Rehydrate With Just Water?
Back to the research article. The test was conducted on 10 recreational athletes, both men, and women, with an average weight of 158.5 lbs (71.9 kg) and an average age of 25 years old. Athletes were instructed to show up at a training session mildly dehydrated. They define mildly dehydrated as having a urine specific gravity (a common way to tell if you are dehydrated) of greater than 1.02. Athletes consumed 20.3 oz (600 ml) of water over a 15 minute period.
Results showed that within 30 to 45 minutes of consuming the water, urine specific gravity decreased to a value below 1.02. Furthermore, the athletes were able to retain up to 75% of the water they consumed over the next hour. If you are interested, you can read more about the urine specific gravity test in this Healthline article.
I think these results are fascinating, and prove how efficient your body is. Of course, results will vary based on your weight, and your level of dehydration, but the facts are there. Within 30 to 45 minutes your body is able to go from a state of mild dehydration to a hydrated state. It should be emphasized that 20.3 oz (600 ml) of water was consumed over a 15 minute period. Water consumption over a period of time helps your body rehydrate. Everything is best in moderation – if you are chugging water, you are not giving your body the time to absorb it. In this instance, water will run right through your body, making you urinate more frequently.
What Do These Results Mean For You?
The results concluded in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research were quite specific to the age and weight of athletes. Depending on your body weight, age, and level of dehydration, the results you find might vary. Broadly speaking, you can apply the results to your everyday lifestyle. When you are experiencing symptoms of mild dehydration, a good starting point should be to drink a glass or two of water over a 15 minute period. As your body starts to absorb this water, you should begin to start feeling better within a reasonable amount of time.
What Are The Common Symptoms of Dehydration?
So you now know how long it will take to rehydrate your body, but how can you identify when you are feeling dehydrated? Generally, dehydration is classified in two different ways: mild and severe. We’ll review the common symptoms of both mild and severe dehydration.
Mild dehydration is more common and impacts several individuals as they go about their daily lifestyles. Typical symptoms include muscle cramps, thirst, dry mouth, headaches, and dark pee. As discussed above, more often than not, mild dehydration can be cured by drinking a glass or two of water.
In addition to the symptoms common with mild dehydration, severe dehydration can include a rapid heartbeat and/or rapid breathing, feeling dizzy, as well as fainting.
It should be noted that severe hydration is serious, and should be treated immediately. Be sure to consult a medical professional if you are unsure of your symptoms, or believe you are experiencing severe dehydration.
Now you are aware of the common symptoms of mild and severe dehydration, you can recognize when you need to take action. Symptoms of severe dehydration are very noticeable. When experiencing symptoms of severe dehydration it will be quite clear that you need to take action. This will be directly related to the level of discomfort you will be encountering.
However, it might not be so apparent when you are experiencing mild dehydration. This is because symptoms of mild dehydration overlap with other common sicknesses. Next time you have a headache, or a muscle cramp, be sure to question yourself: Have I been hydrating regularly? How much water have I had to drink today?
How Do Hydration Drinks Impact Dehydration Recovery Times?
We now know the common symptoms of dehydration and have an idea of how long it takes to rehydrate your body. However, I started thinking, can we speed this process up?
Over the last few years, I have ran in several organized half-marathons. At the end of each race, organizers hand you a hydration drink (or more commonly known as a sports drink). Apart from them tasting great, they must have some rehydration benefit and help to replenish lost fluids from the 13.1 miles (21.1 km) I just ran. And indeed they do!
Hydration drinks are supplements that are filled with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. The combination of these ingredients in hydration drinks will help you hydrate more efficiently and quicker than water alone.
In a recent article we wrote, Best Hydration Drinks For Runners, our top pick, the Hydration Multiplier from Liquid I.V., claims that adding one packet to 16 oz (473 ml) of water can provide the same hydration as drinking at least 2 bottles of water. In addition to rehydration relief from exercise, these drinks are also great for hangovers, and heat exhaustion. Check out the article if you want to have a better understanding of the benefits of hydration drinks, as well as some of the best products on the market today.
How Do Water Rich Foods Help To Rehydrate You?
One area that I think many people overlook is how much water we consume from our food. There are lots of tips and suggestions for drinking X amount of water per day. However, eating foods that have a high water content can significantly help our bodies stay hydrated.
Fruits and vegetables are the most common natural ingredients that contain high percentages of water. Think about watermelons, peaches, oranges, strawberries, cucumbers, and lettuce. All of these natural ingredients have a very high water content. Similarly, soups, broths, as well as skim milk, are also rich in water. In addition to drinking liquids, eating foods that are rich in water can also help to rehydrate you faster.
Dehydration is something that we all experience from time to time. And as humans, we want relief, and we want it fast. In this article, I answered, how long does it take to rehydrate your body?
Recent studies showed that it can take as little as 45 minutes to cure mild dehydration in recreational athletes by drinking 20.3 oz (600 ml) of water over a 15 minute period.
In this article, I discussed these results that were published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning. I also reviewed symptoms of mild and severe dehydration, how supplements can speed up rehydration, as well as the importance of eating foods rich in water.
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Facts for this article are referenced from credible sources. For further information, please read these referenced articles from the following organizations:
- The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research – The Acute Effects of Fluid Intake on Urine Specific Gravity and Fluid Retention in a Mildly Dehydrated State
- Healthline – Urine Specific Gravity