what to drink when you have the flu: Woman in bed holding a digital thermometer

Flu symptoms like sore throat, chest congestion, body aches, and runny nose can really ruin your day. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to feel better fast when you’re under the weather.

If you’re wondering what to drink when you have the flu, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll show you why an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS is the best choice for fighting flu-related dehydration. Plus, you’ll find other tips to stay healthy and manage dehydration during the flu season.

How the Flu Can Lead To Dehydration

what to drink when you have the flu: Man holding a digital thermometer in bed

Dehydration is a condition where your body loses fluid more quickly than it can replace it. However, dehydration is more than just water depletion. The fluid throughout your body is composed of water as well as electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These electrolytes — sodium in particular — play a key role in water retention, regulating blood volume, muscle movement, and sending signals between your brain and various organs.

If you suffer from an imbalance of electrolytes or fluid levels, you may experience dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, muscle weakness, dizziness, low blood pressure, and nausea. Mild and moderate dehydration are often side effects of the common cold and flu.

Here’s why: The common cold and flu cause symptoms that can worsen or lead to dehydration. These symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea as well as fever. When you have diarrhea or are vomiting, your body rapidly loses fluids and electrolytes. These symptoms are particularly common in children, and it can be difficult to replenish lost fluid quickly enough to fend off dehydration.

A fever can also increase the risk of dehydration. That’s because your sweat is made up of water and electrolytes such as sodium. As your body attempts to regulate its core temperature, it releases water and sodium to the surface of your skin. There, the fluid evaporates, producing a cooling effect. While sweating is a normal and healthy body process, excess sweat caused by a fever can lead to dehydration.

Cold and flu fevers — especially those that are higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit — can result in excessive sweating as your body works to return to a normal temperature. Fevers may also be caused by other infectious diseases including coronavirus such as COVID-19, enterovirus, Dengue, and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you have an infection and aren’t drinking enough water and electrolytes to replenish those lost through sweat, you may become dehydrated.

While dehydration can cause serious side effects, it’s usually an easy condition to manage. The best course of action when you’re experiencing mild to moderate dehydration caused by the flu is to drink an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. Read on to learn more about how electrolyte-rich beverages such as DripDrop ORS enable you to treat mild to moderate dehydration at home, and avoid a more serious condition that might require an unwanted hospital visit for IV therapy. Plus, find other lifestyle tips to avoid the condition.

What To Drink When You Have the Flu

what to drink when you have the flu: Man holding DripDrop ORS bottle

You’re here because you want to know what to drink when you have the flu. When you’re sick, you can’t just drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Your body needs a precise ratio of electrolytes including sodium to fend off dehydration. While many people reach for things like ginger ale, orange juice, sports drinks, hot tea, and coconut water, these aren’t the most effective options. That’s because these beverages don’t contain the right amount of electrolytes to aid hydration.

The best choice when it comes to flu-related dehydration is an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. Your lymphatic system needs proper fluid balance to defend against germs, bacteria and viruses. You can protect yourself from dehydration and strengthen your immunity with DripDrop ORS. 

DripDrop ORS was developed by a doctor on a mission to defeat life-threatening dehydration. The patented formula provides medically relevant electrolyte levels, improving on the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) standards because of its delicious taste. This gives you a medically viable ORS that also tastes great. 

By comparison, sports drinks contain about one-third the electrolytes of DripDrop ORS and twice as much sugar. While coconut water has some potassium, it doesn’t contain enough sodium to help dehydration. 

DripDrop ORS can be consumed cold or hot, making it a great choice for soothing flu symptoms if you’re already sick. Hot flavors such as honey lemon ginger and spiced apple cider help to soothe a sore throat and provide the precise amount of electrolytes your body needs to fight dehydration. Plus, DripDrop ORS is loaded with zinc and vitamin C that help fortify your immune system so you can feel better fast. That makes it a better choice than other hot liquids such as green tea, ginger tea, or plain hot water.

Other Tips for Avoiding Flu-Related Dehydration

DripDrop ORS bottle on top of table

There are many things you can do to support your immune system and reduce the risk of getting dehydration through the common cold or flu. Here are some tips to avoid the cold and flu and resulting dehydration.

Dress Appropriately

You’ve heard the old wives’ tales: You’ll catch a cold if you go outside in cold weather without a jacket or with wet hair. While these might just be cautionary tales your mom told you, there’s some science behind cold temperatures and an increased risk of catching the flu. 

In fact, a study published in YaleNews found that mice were more likely to catch a cold caused by rhinoviruses in cooler temperatures. That’s because when their noses were cold, the mice weren’t able to send signals to the immune system to fend off the virus. In addition, research shows that flu-causing viruses replicate faster at colder temperatures.

Whether it’s cold or hot outside, it’s a good idea to dress appropriately to help your body manage dehydration. If you’re too cold, you may be more susceptible to cold and flu infections that can lead to dehydration. 

The same goes for hot weather. If you’re wearing too many layers of clothes that trap in heat on a hot day, you may increase your risk of developing a heat-related condition such as heat exhaustion. These conditions can lead to excessive sweating and dehydration as your body tries to maintain a normal temperature. 

Hydrate Throughout the Day

It’s not enough to chug drinking water or a little fruit juice when you feel sick and dehydrated. Regularly give your body a precise balance of fluids and electrolytes to stay hydrated. In fact, studies show that dehydration increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol has been linked to suppressed immune function, increasing your risk of catching the flu, and developing dehydration.

Try drinking an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS throughout the day to battle the effects of flu season. Mild dehydration occurs naturally as we sleep, so it’s a good idea to start the morning with a glass of DripDrop ORS mixed with water. As the day goes on, try taking a few sips of an oral rehydration solution, especially if you feel under the weather. 

Since our ORS packets are conveniently sized, you can add a water bottle and a few powder sticks to your work bag or cold and flu kit and always have the best dehydration protocol on hand.

Eat Well

Eating a healthy diet packed with immune-boosting foods such as kale, leafy greens, and other veggies can also help to support immunity and fight infections like the flu. If you’re already sick, it’s a good idea to eat sodium-rich broths in dishes such as chicken soup, chicken noodle soup, and matzo ball soup. While these soups contain large amounts of sodium and fluids that can help you stay hydrated, when you’re already dehydrated, you need a tool like DripDrop ORS to feel better fast. 

Some foods such as yogurt may help ease flu symptoms such as an upset stomach and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration. It’s also a good idea to eat bland foods such as applesauce, bread, and rice if you have diarrhea. These foods won’t irritate your stomach, helping you avoid diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration.  If you are already experiencing dehydration, BRAT foods won’t help. You need an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS to manage the condition so you can feel better fast.

While healthy foods such as smoothies and water-rich foods are recommended to help you manage the symptoms of cold and flu, when it comes to dehydration, you'll need the medically balanced ratio of DripDrop ORS to manage dehydration fast. While these foods contain some of the electrolytes you need for hydration, they aren’t formulated with a medically relevant amount of electrolytes like DripDrop ORS.

Practice Good Hygiene

One of the best ways to avoid flu-related dehydration is to avoid contracting the flu by practicing good hygiene measures recommended by the CDC. Flu viruses are often transmitted from one person to another through sneezing, coughing, and touching contaminated surfaces. Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. If you don’t have access to soap, use a hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol. 

If you’re sick, cough and sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow. Make sure to regularly sanitize and clean surfaces such as doorknobs to prevent the spread of the flu virus. Eating a healthy diet, getting good quality sleep, and taking supplements such as vitamin C and zinc may also help to prevent and fight the flu.

Young children, older adults, and people with medical conditions all have an increased likelihood of catching the flu and becoming dehydrated. It’s a good idea to get a flu shot, whether you're at a higher risk of dehydration or want to protect others who are. 

Fight Flu-Related Dehydration With DripDrop ORS

Man with DripDrop ORS bottle on his lap

When it comes to what to drink when you have the flu, the best choice is an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. It contains a medically relevant amount of electrolytes to help fend off dehydration when the flu sets in.

When you're in a state of dehydration caused by the common cold or flu, water alone is not enough. Your body needs a balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. With the precisely balanced ratio, DripDrop ORS helps you replenish vital electrolytes and fluids to relieve dehydration quickly. Plus, DripDrop ORS supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which are essential to support your overall health.

DripDrop ORS is a proven alternative for treating mild to moderate dehydration. It's powerful enough to use in extreme circumstances but safe enough for everyday use.

For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy. Its convenient packaging allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it. Plus, DripDrop ORS is an affordable option with prices starting at $1.12 per stick. And delicious hot flavors like Honey Lemon Ginger, Spiced Apple Cider, and Hibiscus soothe a sore throat while they tackle dehydration.

Get started with a trial or our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast. Or, learn more about how you can save up to 25% on every purchase when you subscribe.