Water is usually enough to hydrate adults. Other options include clear broth, Jell-O, and sports drinks that contain electrolytes. Go slow; drinking too much too fast may cause vomiting
1: Drink water and clear liquids in small amounts. .
- Try ice chips. They dissolve slowly and the cooling effect can be helpful for overheated people.
- If the dehydration is the result of prolonged physical activity, consume a sports drink that contains electrolytes.
2: Avoid some fluids. When you’re dehydrated, avoid caffeine and alcohol. These have dehydrating effects on the body. Beverages such as coffee, caffeinated tea, and soda should not be taken while dehydrated. You should also avoid fruit juices, as the sugar can have a dehydrating effect by increasing urination.
3: Eat foods with a high water content. If you are not nauseated, try eating some fruits and vegetables with a high water content.
- Watermelon, cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, and strawberries are very high in water content.
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, sweet peppers, radishes, spinach, zucchini, and tomatoes have very high water content.
- Avoid dairy if you have diarrhea or nausea along with dehydration. It can make these symptoms worse.
4: Continue hydrating. Continue to rehydrate and rest over the next 24 hours. Drink plenty of fluids. Do not stop drinking simply because you don’t feel thirsty anymore. It can take several days to completely replace lost fluids.
5: Seek medical assistance if you do not improve. If you don’t feel better after rehydrating, or if you have a fever over 104F, seek immediate medical help.
6: Stop activities. If you are dehydrated, further exertion will only make your body weaker. Stop your activities.
7: Move to a cool area. This will help promote heat loss from sweat and prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
8: Lie down. This will prevent any more exertion and help prevent fainting.
- If you can, prop your feet up. This may help keep you from fainting.
9: Cool your body. If dehydration is a side effect of heat exposure, remove excess clothing to cool off. You can also use damp towels and spray misters to help cool your body.
- Do not use ice water or ice packs. These can cause the blood vessels to constrict and can actually increase heat retention.
- Use a spray bottle to mist lukewarm water onto the skin. The evaporation will help cool your body.
- Place damp cloths on areas of your body with thinner skin, such as the neck and face wrists, collarbone, upper arms and armpits, and inner thighs.
10: Encourage your child to rest. If your child is mildly dehydrated due to overexertion, for example from playing vigorous sports, encourage the child to rest in a cool place out of the sun until s/he has replaced the lost fluids.
- Allow your child to drink as much water as s/he wants to during this period.
- For older children, sports drinks containing sugar and salts (electrolytes) can be a good rehydration option.
11: Rehydrate. Use the steps in Method 3 to rehydrate your body. Drink at least 2 quarts (2 liters) of fluids over 2-4 hours.
- You should try to consume sports drinks that contain electrolytes or rehydration solutions to help restore your electrolyte balance. Mix 1 quart water with ½ teaspoon table salt and 6 teaspoons sugar for an inexpensive at-home rehydration solution.
- Avoid salt tablets. They can cause excess salt in the body and can cause severe complications.
12: Seek medical help for severe dehydration or heat exhaustion. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause dehydration and heat stroke. If you feel faint, dizzy, weak, or shaky, this could be a sign of heat exhaustion. Get emergency medical attention immediately.
- If you have any symptoms of severe dehydration, such as rapid heart rate, weakness, shakiness, light-headedness, or extreme thirst, call your emergency services and seek medical attention immediately. Unchecked dehydration can lead to delirium, shock, stroke and death.
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