Your body needs hydration to function. In addition to water, there are several fast ways to cure dehydration and rebalance your body, such as oral rehydration solutions and fruit.

It’s important to rehydrate after any activity that causes heavy sweating, such as an intense workout, sauna session, or hot yoga class.

Rehydrating is also crucial for preventing the damaging effects of dehydration if you have diarrhea or are recovering from a night out.

This article explains some ways to rehydrate quickly at home and some tips on how to recognize dehydration.

While it likely comes as no surprise, drinking water is most often the best and cheapest way to stay hydrated and rehydrate.

Unlike many other beverages, water contains no added sugars or calories, making it ideal to drink throughout the day or specifically when you need to rehydrate, such as after a workout.

It’s worth noting that a variety of factors, including genetics, cause some people to lose more sodium via their sweat than others. You might be a “salty sweater” if you get frequent muscle cramps with exercise or if your sweat stings your eyes.

If either of these apply to you, make sure to replace not just the fluid you lose through sweat but also the sodium, particularly after intense or long bouts of exercise in hot environments.

That said, unless you’re participating in a long, intense activity like an ultra-endurance event in a hot environment, the sodium you lose through sweat can easily be replaced through a balanced diet.


For most people, drinking water is sufficient to rehydrate. If you’re a salty sweater, be sure to replace both the sodium and fluid you lose through sweat, preferably through a balanced diet.

Sports drinks contain water, electrolytes, and other ingredients. Some of these drinks may be as effective as water at helping you rehydrate or stay hydrated in hot weather or during intense exercise. If you like the taste, you may also be inclined to drink more.

It’s worth noting that some sports drinks are high in calories, added sugars or artificial sweeteners, which may not benefit your overall health. Check the ingredients before you choose a sports drink.

Should you drink sports drinks instead of water?


Sports drinks have a similar effect to water, but they may be high in calories and have added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Check the ingredients first.

In addition to supplying a host of nutrients, milk has excellent hydrating properties.

Milk naturally contains high concentrations of electrolytes, which help balance the amount of water in your body.

Research has shown that skim and low fat milk rehydrate you as well as popular sports drinks after intense exercise, all while providing protein and other important nutrients.

The high quality protein in milk also makes it an ideal post-exercise beverage for kick-starting muscle repair and the rebuilding process.

Just keep in mind that consuming milk after exercise may cause stomach discomfort like bloating. Plus, it’s not suitable for people with an intolerance to lactose or certain milk proteins.

Full fat milk in particular might also not be a good option if you have diarrhea or vomiting, as it could worsen these symptoms.

Is milk good for dehydration?


Skim and low fat milk can be used as an effective post-workout or general rehydration beverage if you don’t have lactose intolerance or a milk protein allergy.

Comprising 80–99% water, fruits and vegetables make for a perfect hydrating snack.

For comparison, highly processed foods like cookies, crackers, cereals, and chips contain only 1–9% water.

Fruits and vegetables with the highest water content include:

  • berries
  • melons
  • oranges
  • grapes
  • carrots
  • lettuce
  • cabbage
  • spinach

Stock up on a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and keep cubed watermelon in your fridge for easy and convenient access.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, and in some cases, they’re more nutritious.

It can take days or weeks before fresh fruits and vegetables make it to your plate. During that time, oxidation can cause nutrient loss. On the other hand, frozen fruits and vegetables are frozen shortly after harvesting, which retains most of their nutrients.

For example, one study showed that frozen green beans and blueberries contained more vitamin C than their fresh counterparts.

Try making a hydrating, nutrient-packed smoothie by combining your favorite fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables in a blender along with milk or Greek yogurt.

Which foods help you stay hydrated?


Due to their high water content, both fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables make a perfect hydrating snack.

Oral rehydration solutions are specialized formulas used to prevent and treat dehydration caused by diarrhea or vomiting.

They have also been promoted to bolster exercise recovery and prevent or treat hangovers.

These solutions are water-based and commonly contain electrolytes like sodium, chloride, and potassium, as well as sugar, typically in the form of dextrose. Some commercial solutions also contain other ingredients like prebiotics and zinc.

While these rehydration drinks help replace lost fluids and electrolytes, they can be expensive.

Fortunately, you can make your own using these common kitchen ingredients:

  • 34 ounces (1 liter) of water
  • 6 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Combine them in a large bowl or pot and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. You can use flavor enhancers to improve the taste if desired — just keep in mind that they may contain artificial sweeteners and flavors.

What’s the best way to use an oral rehydration solution?


Oral hydration solutions contain water, electrolytes, and sugar. You can make your own simple rehydration solution at home using water, salt, and sugar.

Coffee and tea contain the stimulant caffeine, which can acts like a diuretic in high amounts.

While not as rehydrating as water, moderate amounts of coffee and tea can help you stay hydrated.

Caffeine becomes dehydrating only in doses around 250–300 mg, the equivalent of two to three 8-ounce (240-ml) cups of coffee, or five to eight 8-ounce (240-ml) cups of tea.

In a study, 50 regular coffee drinkers drank 4 cups (800 ml) of coffee containing 1.8 mg of caffeine per pound (4 mg per kg) of body weight daily. The authors observed no significant differences between coffee and water in regards to hydrating ability.

If you don’t like these beverages plain, try adding unsweetened almond milk to your coffee, or herbs and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or lemongrass to your tea.

Does coffee dehydrate you?


Drinking moderate amounts of coffee and tea have similar hydrating properties as water. Plus, their caffeine content may give you an energy boost.

Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body requires water to function.

Water helps regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, transport nutrients, remove waste, and circulate blood. That means your body can’t properly perform these functions if you’re dehydrated, which happens when you lose more fluids than you take in.

For example, you can become dehydrated from sweating, vomiting, experiencing diarrhea, or taking diuretic medications that increase fluid loss.

Certain populations are more prone to dehydration than others, including children, older adults, and people with certain medical conditions like diabetes and kidney disease.

The signs and symptoms of dehydration include:

  • increased thirst
  • dry mouth
  • infrequent urination
  • dry skin
  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  • headache

Urine color is also a common indicator of hydration status. Generally, the paler the color, the better hydrated you are. That said, the color can change for reasons other than your hydration status, including diet, certain medications, and some medical conditions.

Are you dehydrated? Your pee color can give you a clue.

What is the quickest way to rehydrate your body?

Water is the best option for rehydrating your body, but oral rehydration solutions also provide essential electrolytes. These may be useful if you are dehydrated due to diarrhea or vomiting, or if you have been exercising intensely.

Severe dehydration may need medical treatment, where a doctor provides fluid intravenously.

How long does it take to rehydrate your body?

When you drink water, your body starts absorbing it after 5 minutes, and peak absorption can take 15–60 minutes, according to a 2012 study.

This will depend on several factors, such as how much fluid you take in, what type of fluid, how dehydrated you were to start with, and whether the cause of dehydration, such as diarrhea, has gone away.

How long does it take for water to go through your body?

What’s the best way to rehydrate after drinking alcohol?

Water is effective, but oral rehydration solutions can also help relieve dehydration if you have a hangover.

How can you stay hydrated overnight?

Being hydrated can help you sleep better, but it can also mean you need to pee more during the night. Tips for nighttime hydration include:

  • drinking sips of water for the last 2 hours before bedtime and if you wake up in the night
  • limiting alcohol consumption
  • making sure the room is cool enough so you don’t sweat
  • eating plenty of whole fruits and vegetables during the day so you don’t go to bed dehydrated

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. For most people, drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated and rehydrate.

Other options include:

  • sports drinks
  • coffee or tea
  • milk
  • fruits and vegetables
  • oral rehydration solutions

Don’t hesitate to seek medical advice if you or someone else is experiencing symptoms of dehydration, such as dizziness. Severe dehydration is a life threatening emergency and needs urgent medical attention.