Why We Recommend Fluids When You’re Sick

Jan 02, 2024
Why We Recommend Fluids When You’re Sick
You’ve probably heard your physician tell you to drink lots of water when you’re sick, but have you ever considered why this recommendation is so common? Find out before your next winter illness.

Have you ever come down with cold or flu symptoms and attended a doctor’s appointment only for your physician to tell you to drink more fluids and send you on your way? They might also suggest rest or over-the-counter medications too, but staying hydrated is often a top recommendation. As it turns out, staying hydrated can help you recover faster from all sorts of illnesses and avoid the complications of dehydration. 

Virtually Urgent Healthcare is based in Dacula, Georgia, and provides virtual sick visits to individuals and families across the state. Rolandine Vaughan, PA-C, MPAS, wants you and your family to stay as healthy as possible during this cold and flu season, or at the very least, recover quickly when you feel under-the-weather. 

There are plenty of reasons to consider booking a sick visit. You might book a virtual visit with Rolandine when you experience:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches

When new symptoms arise, or when mild symptoms worsen, Rolandine evaluates them during your telehealth appointment. She can then offer helpful recommendations to support your recovery. Drinking more fluids is just one simple way to accelerate recovery and avoid getting sicker. 

Why hydration?

Staying hydrated is important all the time, even when you’re perfectly healthy. Beyond keeping you from feeling thirsty, drinking fluids keeps your cells functioning properly and keeps your joints lubricated. 

There are several particular benefits of hydration that apply to being sick. When you’re not feeling well, hydrating with water and other liquids can:

Regulate your body temperature

Having a fever means having an elevated body temperature as your immune system tries to fight the illness. As long as your fever is 101℉ or less, staying hydrated can help lower it along with other home remedies like rest or a lukewarm bath with no medications necessary. 


Restore fluids after fluid loss

There are many ways to lose fluids when you’re sick. Vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating can all dehydrate you much faster than you realize. By replenishing your body’s moisture supply, you can avoid dehydration, which can make you feel even worse. Dehydration can escalate your illness while also causing new symptoms like delirium, headaches, cramps, and dangerously low blood pressure. 

Optimizing cell and organ function

When you’re well-hydrated, your cells and organs are functioning in an optimal state. This includes the components of your immune system that work hard to eliminate viruses, bacteria, and other illness-causing germs. 

What and when to drink

Drinking water or any other liquid may not sound appetizing when you’re fatigued with illness or can barely keep anything in your stomach. It’s important to drink lots of water anyway when you’re sick, even if you don’t feel thirsty at all. Water is best, but other fluids work too. Drinking broth not only hydrates you but may be easier and more soothing to consume than a full solid meal. 

Try to avoid alcohol (which dehydrates you) and any beverages with caffeine in them including many sodas, tea, and coffee. If you have questions about how to hydrate and stay hydrated, Rolandine is happy to answer them during your next sick visit. 

Not feeling well?

Virtually Urgent Healthcare offers virtual visits that are accessible from your home. If you suspect you’re getting sick, call us for an appointment or book online for professional care and advice right away.