Everyone knows the importance of staying hydrated, but what should you drink when you are dehydrated? Furthermore, what kinds of drinks provide hydrational value besides water?
In this article, we review the 7 best options besides water that you should be drinking when dehydrated. They include fruit juice, hydration drinks, fruit-infused water, Gatorade, milk, sparkling water, and fruit smoothies. Below we review these 7 drinks in detail, as well as providing information on:
- why you become dehydrated
- how you know when you are dehydrated
- drinks you should avoid when you are dehydrated
The 7 Best Drinks For Dehydration Besides Water
You should turn to water as your first source of hydration. However, when you are bored with plain water, there are alternatives that are healthy, taste delicious, and will help you hydrate. Below we review the 7 best drinks for hydration besides water.
1. Fruit Juice
It is a popular choice at breakfast, and for those trying to hydrate while sick. Most fruit juices contain a large percentage of water and are a good option for hydration. Fruit juice is relatively cheap, and natural sugars make them taste great (popular amongst kids).
2. Hydration Drinks (Oral Rehydration Solutions)
Hydration drinks, also known as Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), are scientifically designed to hydrate you more effectively and efficiently than water alone. Many options are filled with natural ingredients that provide your body with the electrolytes, minerals, and nutrients required to rehydrate.
They are popular amongst athletes after intense physical exertion, after experiencing heat exhaustion, when you have a hangover, or after fluid loss from sickness such as diarrhea.
In a recent article we wrote, we reviewed some of the best hydration drinks. Our top picks were from Liquid I.V., DripDrop ORS, Ultima Replenisher, and Nuun Hydration (links take you to Amazon where you can learn more about specific products).
3. Fruit Infused Water
Infusing your water with fruit is a healthy way to add some flavor. There are endless possibilities of recipes you can follow to spice up your water with fruits and herbs.
Furthermore, fruit-infused water is popular amongst those trying to lose weight, as it allows you to enjoy the taste of fruit without actually consuming the calories.
We recently wrote an article on 7 popular recipes for fruit-infused water. Our favorite is lemon and lime water, which makes for a refreshing drink on a summer day. You can also take your infused water with you on-the-go with the 24 oz (700 ml) Infusion Pro water bottle found on Amazon.
Gatorade was designed for athletes to replace electrolytes and fluids after intense exercise. It is a popular choice for when you are feeling dehydrated from physical activity. However, Gatorade does have a high sugar content and is intended for athletes after a workout. As with all sugar-filled drinks, they should be consumed in moderation and not strictly be used as a substitute instead of water.
Furthermore, we have compared sugar values from Gatorade to the popular Liquid I.V. oral rehydration solution. The sugar value in a 16 oz (500 ml) serving of Gatorade contains 29 grams of sugar, while the same serving size of Liquid I.V. contains 11 grams of sugar.
In a recent article we wrote, we discussed how effective milk is for hydration. Regardless of the percentage of milk you drink, it typically consists of a water content between 85% to 90%.
Furthermore, a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found milk to be more hydrating than water for adults.
The study came to this conclusion after results showed that your body retains milk for a longer period of time than water. This is because milk is filled with sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, fat, and protein which help your body to absorb the liquid.
6. Sparkling Water
Sparkling water is just regular water in which carbon dioxide has been dissolved into it. The addition of carbon dioxide is what makes the water fizzy and bubbly.
Many individuals enjoy sparkling water as a refreshing drink throughout the day and especially at dinner time, mixed with a slice of lemon. Sparkling water is a great alternative to those that enjoy the carbonation of sodas but are looking for a healthier and sugar-free option.
Without any additives or flavors, sparkling water provides the same hydrational value as still water.
7. Fruit Smoothies
Fruit smoothies are quick and easy to make and contain many natural ingredients that are rich in water. A lot of your daily water intake is from foods that have high water content.
Ingredients such as raspberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and oranges all contain lots of water.
Additionally, when making a smoothie, fruits are typically mixed with milk, yogurt, and ice. All of these ingredients help to increase your water intake when you are dehydrated.
Why Do You Become Dehydrated?
Many adults suffer from mild dehydration on a daily basis. Some of the most common reasons people struggle to stay hydrated are:
- Life is busy, schedules are packed, and your attention is being pulled in every direction. Other than when sitting down to eat a meal, a lot of people simply forget to drink water throughout the day. If you can relate to this, consider reading our article about water bottles with reminder alarms. Our top pick was the ICEWATER 3-in-1 Smart water bottle that flashes hourly, in addition to providing an audible sound as a reminder to drink water. You can find it here on Amazon.
- Your body loses more fluids in warmer climates, when exercising, and when you are sick. Many people don’t increase their water intake accordingly in these situations.
- Water is boring! Many people get bored with the plain taste of water and stop drinking it. However, as you read above, there are several alternatives that will keep you adequately hydrated and don’t involve you only drinking plain water.
How Do You Know You Are Dehydrated?
When you are suffering from mild dehydration, your body can experience symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, a decrease of urine output, and increased thirst. These symptoms are your body’s way of trying to tell you that you have lost fluid and it needs to be replenished.
With your body made up of over 60% water, staying properly hydrated helps with a number of bodily functions such as temperature regulation, removing waste, and transporting nutrients throughout your body.
When suffering from severe dehydration, individuals can experience more intense symptoms. These can include a drop in blood pressure, a significant decrease in urine output (if any is produced it is a dark yellow color), a fever, an increased heart rate, and even a seizure.
Severe dehydration requires immediate medical attention and often requires an IV to replenish fluids.
What Drinks To Avoid When Dehydrated?
We have provided a list of some of the best drinks to consume when dehydrated, but are there any drinks you should avoid?
Avoid Alcohol When Dehydrated
This won’t come as a surprise to many people, but when you are experiencing mild dehydration you should be avoiding alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol is a diuretic. And according to a healthline article, alcohol makes your body believe it needs to release more fluid than required. It does this by suppressing the hormone that tells your brain to hold onto water. As a result, you urinate more frequently.
When you are dehydrated, you need to replenish fluids, not release more. For this reason, alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Furthermore, you should have one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you have. Additionally, alcohol should not be consumed when you are already feeling dehydrated.
In this article, we reviewed what to drink, besides water, when you are feeling dehydrated. Options include fruit juice, hydration drinks, fruit-infused water, Gatorade, milk, sparkling water, and fruit smoothies. These drinks add flavor and help hydrate your body when you are bored with plain water.
We also discussed why most people become dehydrated, as well as common symptoms of mild dehydration. Symptoms include a dry mouth, increased thirst, headaches, and dizziness. Finally, we reviewed how alcohol makes your brain believe it needs to urinate more frequently. Alcohol should be consumed in moderation and avoided when already dehydrated.
For any comments, questions or feedback you might have, please send us a message through our contact form.
Be sure to consult your health care professional with any medical questions. Similarly, the information found in this article should not be considered medical advice.