What Is the Best Way to Cure Dehydration?

Reviewed on 5/23/2022

A family outdoor drinking bottled waters on their bikes
Since dehydration is caused by a loss of fluids, fluid intake is the fastest, best way to treat it. Mild dehydration can be treated at home by drinking fluids such as water (the best fluid choice), sports drinks, oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte, juices diluted with water, decaffeinated tea, milk, breast milk for babies, soups, and Jell-O and ice cream.

Dehydration is a symptom that occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in, and as a result the body does not have enough water to function normally. 

About 80% of people's total water comes from drinking water and the other 20% comes from the foods we eat. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends an adequate daily water intake from all beverages and foods of:

  • 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water for women
  • 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of total water for men

People who are physically active or who live in hot climates may need to consume more water. 

9 Dehydration Remedies

The fastest way to cure dehydration is fluid intake. 

Mild dehydration can be treated at home by drinking fluids such as:

  • Water (the best fluid choice) 
  • Sports drinks
  • Oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte
  • Juices diluted with water
  • Decaffeinated tea
  • Milk 
  • Breast milk for babies
  • Soups
  • Jell-O and ice cream become liquid after eating, so they may be consumed as well

3 Tips When Rehydrating

  • Take small sips and drink slowly to avoid stomach irritation. 
  • Avoid beverages and foods containing alcohol and caffeine which can act as diuretics and cause you to lose more fluid. 
  • Severe dehydration may need to be treated in a hospital and intravenous (IV) fluids may be given.

What Are Symptoms of Dehydration?

Dehydration can range from mild to severe and life-threatening. Mild dehydration might not always cause symptoms.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness 
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urination
  • Dark yellow-, amber-, or brown-colored urine
  • Dry mouth and mucous membranes (lips, gums, nostrils)
  • Decreased skin elasticity
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Confusion
  • Lack of tears when crying
  • Eyes that look sunken in the face
  • “Sunken fontanel” in babies 
  • Abnormal breathing (severe cases)
  • Coma (severe cases)

What Causes Dehydration?

Causes of dehydration include: 

How Is Dehydration Diagnosed?

Dehydration is diagnosed with a patient history and physical examination along with blood and urine tests to check for dehydration and see how severe it is. 

Other tests may be necessary to determine the cause of the dehydration.

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Reviewed on 5/23/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://www.mdanderson.org/patients-family/diagnosis-treatment/emotional-physical-effects/dehydration.html

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/dehydration-in-children-the-basics?search=dehydration&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2004/02/report-sets-dietary-intake-levels-for-water-salt-and-potassium-to-maintain-health-and-reduce-chronic-disease-risk