Hydration For POTS – 9 Tips To Stay Hydrated

Hydration For POTS – 9 Tips To Stay Hydrated

Hydration is essential for managing POTS, dysautonomia & orthostatic intolerance symptoms. Here are 9 top tips I follow to stay hydrated and help ease my symptoms, including the specific drinks I consume and avoid, the best time to consume fluids and the foods which help me stay hydrated. 

Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only. I’m not a qualified practitioner and I’m not encouraging anyone else to do this. Please consult a qualified practitioner before implementing these things or changing your current treatment plan. This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you I earn commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. See my full disclaimer here.

 

importance of staying hydrated

Staying hydrated by consuming enough fluids is essential for POTS and dysautonomia. Dehydration activates the sympathetic nervous system/stress response, which raises heart rates and increases symptoms. In contrast, consuming sufficient fluids has numerous benefits:-

  • Increases blood volume and the blood returned to the heart and brain, relieving symptoms (1),
  • Improved concentration, memory and alertness,
  • Reduced fatigue,
  • Increased energy levels,
  • Thins the blood, which increases the rate toxins and other waste products are removed from the body,
  • Increases blood flow and delivery of oxygen round the body, which is critical for optimal function and healing (2).

 

9 tips that help me stay hydrated

Below are 9 tips which I find are best for keeping me hydrated and easing my POTS symptoms.

 

Hydration for POTS Tip 1). How Much To Drink

It’s normally recommended to consume 2-3 litres of water each day (I find 3 litres is best for me but the optimal amount will be different for everyone) (1). However, it’s not only the amount I drink but also what I drink and when I drink that helps control my symptoms.

 

Drinks I avoid and consume

Hydration for POTS Tip 2). Drinks I Avoid

I avoid any drink containing alcohol, caffeine, sugar or inflammatory preservatives and additives.

 

Alcohol

  • Alcohol is a diuretic, which increases the amount of water removed from the body, causing dehydration.
  • It widens blood vessels, lowering the amount of blood pumped back to the heart and brain, which can increase symptoms.

 

Caffeine (tea, coffee, matcha, green tea and energy drinks)

  • Caffeine is also a diuretic, which can cause dehydration.
  • Increase the heart rate, which can increase symptoms.
  • Stresses the adrenal glands, which can reduce energy levels and increase fatigue.

 

Energy/sports drinks (Lucozade, Gatorade, Red Bull etc.)

  • These contain caffeine and refined sugars, which cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, increasing symptoms.
  • They also contain artificial ingredients, which can increase inflammation.

 

Store bought squash and flavoured or sparkling water

  • These contain artificial flavourings, sweeteners and preservatives, which can increase inflammation.

 

Fizzy drinks (cola, lemonade, pepsi)

  • These are high in refined sugar and preservatives.

 

Fruit juices

  • Store bought and even homemade fruit juice removes the fibre, leaving a concentrated source of sugar, which can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, increasing symptoms.

 

Hydration for POTS Tip 3). Drinks I Consume

Drinks with electrolytes keep you hydrated longer than plain water alone (3). For POTS, it’s typically recommended to add salt to your water. The sodium increases blood pressure and helps retain the fluids you consume to stay hydrated (1). However, the type of salt is important. Table salt is refined, meaning it is stripped of vital minerals and other important electrolytes like magnesium, potassium and calcium. 

Instead, it is recommended to use:-

These are unrefined and contain not only sodium but the other trace minerals and electrolytes to help keep you hydrated (4).

If like me, you have hyperadrenic POTS, where your blood pressure goes up too high, then adding salt to your drinks is not recommended (5). Regardless of the type of POTS, I add: –

  • The juice from half a lemon or lime to every 250 ml/1 cup of water I consume.
    • It contains the electrolytes calcium, magnesium and potassium to keep me hydrated,
    • It improves the taste of plain water,
    • Helps flush toxins from the body,
    • Are a source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system.
  • I sometimes add coconut water, which is a great source of potassium that helps maintain hydration. Some coconut waters contain added sugar so I use Tiana Fairtrade’s, which is 100% organic coconut water, with no added sugar, additives or preservatives.

 

Other drinks I consume: –

Chicory (UK Link/US Link)

  • Great coffee alternative, as it’s caffeine free,
  • Helps the liver function,
  • Good source of fibre, which feeds the good bacteria in your gut, which improves digestion and supports the immune system.

 

Herbal Teas

There are a range of herbal teas you can drink instead of regular caffeinated teas, which are not only caffeine free but have a range of health benefits: –

  • Lemon balm (UK Link/US Link) – reduces stress and anxiety and improves sleep (6).
  • Chamomile (UK Link/US Link) – improves sleep and digestion (7).
  • Peppermint (UK Link/US Link) – improves digestion and eases nausea (8).
  • Lemon and ginger (UK Link/US Link) – relieves nausea and boosts the immune system (9).
  • Milk thistle (UK Link/US Link) – improves liver function, helps remove toxins and boosts the immune system (10).
  • Dandelion root (UK Link/US Link) – helps liver function and improves digestion (11).
  • Burdock root (UK Link/US Link) – improves liver health and helps remove toxins from the body (12).
  • Turmeric (UK Link/US Link) – reduces inflammation (13).
  • Rooibos (UK Link/US Link) – high in antioxidants, which prevent healthy tissue cells being damaged (14).
  • Hibiscus (UK Link/US Link) – helps cleanse the liver, is a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C to support the immune system and protect the body from damage from free radicals (15).
  • Rosehips (UK Link/US Link) – rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps support our immune system (16).

 

herbal tea recipes

You can combine these teas into herbal blends like these:-

 

Green vegetable juices

I make my own green juices at home without any fruit, like this Fennel, Cucumber & Mint Recipe, to avoid rapid rises in blood sugar levels. They have many health benefits: –

  • Packed full of electrolytes, which aids hydration,
  • Flood the body with a concentrated source of nutrients that are easily absorbed,
  • Reduce inflammation,
  • Improve digestion.

 

Timing of Fluid Intake

As well as the amount and type of drinks I consume, the timing of them is also important to minimise my symptoms.

 

Hydration for POTS Tip 4). First thing in the morning

I drink 500 ml (2 cups) of water with the juice from half a lemon first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. First thing in the morning is when my symptoms are worst as, having not consumed any fluids overnight, I’m most dehydrated and my blood volume is lowest (6). Drinking 500ml of water first thing not only Increases my blood volume, which helps lower my heart rate, but also helps flush out toxins that have been removed overnight.

 

Hydration for POTS Tip 5). Before having a shower

I drink a small glass of water before having a shower to increase my blood volume. Heat from the shower causes blood vessels to dilate which can lower the amount of blood returned to the heart and brain, increasing my symptoms.

 

Hydration for POTS Tip 6). 30 minutes before a meal

I drink a glass (250 ml/1 cup) of warm water, with the juice from half a lemon in, 30 minutes before eating a meal. Eating causes blood to be diverted to the stomach to digest food, and away from controlling blood pressure and heart rate, which can increase symptoms. Drinking a glass of warm lemon water before a meal increases blood volume, which minimises the increase in symptoms I experience after eating (7).

Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice has the following benefits: –

  • Increases hydrochloric/stomach acids, which improves digestion,
  • Reduces bloating, nausea and other digestive complaints.
  • Helps absorb nutrients from the food I eat.

Robyn Youkilis in her book Go With Your Gut recommends to not drink anything else, other than small sips if you need to, until one hour after a meal. Consuming fluids too close to or during a meal achieves the opposite effect and dilutes the digestive enzymes in the stomach, which interferes with digestion.

 

Hydration for POTS tip 7). Before going to bed

I drink this Herbal Tea For Sleep & Relaxation 2 hours before going to bed. This minimises the dehydration I experience overnight and helps flush toxins from my body.

 

Other Hydration Tips

Hydration for POTS Tip 8). Consume Fruits and Vegetables

Food is often overlooked as a source of water. However, it provides around 25% of our fluid intake each day and can be a source of electrolytes to help maintain hydration (10). Fruits and vegetables have the highest water content, containing 80-95% water. They’re also a great source of fibre, meaning the water is absorbed slower, which keeps me hydrated for longer (11).

 

Hydration for POTS Tip 9). Sip Water Regularly, Rather Than Consuming Lots in One Go

Drinking too much water at a time overloads the kidneys, causing more of the fluid to be expelled from the body (12). Instead, sipping and consuming small amounts of fluid regularly throughout the day means the kidneys can process it all without being overworked. This results in me retaining more of the fluids I drink, improving hydration (12).

 

Other blog posts

Click to read my other blog posts with other tips and strategies that are helping me improve my health manage my conditions:-

 

contact me and follow me on social media

I hope these tips are helpful. What helps you stay hydrated? I’d love to know what benefits you. Leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.

 

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6 thoughts on “Hydration For POTS – 9 Tips To Stay Hydrated”

  • These are great tips! Definitely don’t drink enough water, it’s a bad habit I really am trying to work on. I may try adding the lemon or lime juice you recommend, and having a good drink before getting out of bed sounds like a good way to start the day. Thanks for all the information!

    • Thank you Melissa! You’re welcome. Staying hydrated and drinking sufficiently fluids first thing in the morning and throughout the day has helped me so much so I hope it helps you too.

  • There is lots of great information here! I never thought of drinking water before I shower! I will start that asap to see if it helps. I do know it helps with blood draws and I really suffer from blood draws. They actually make me crash pretty fast, so one tip is drinking water before to try and help reduce the severity of the crash. I didn’t even know other patients suffered from that until I wrote about it and had many fibro and MECFS patients say they experienced the same thing. I am constantly amazed by what we learn from each other and NOT from our doctors.

    When things ‘hit the fan’ in 2009, that’s when I really started focusing on what I was drinking. I cut coffee out and then added it back in because I do function better with one coffee a day. The rest of my day is all water – as much as I can drink. I also keep a large bottle of water near my bed at night and often wake up several times to drink it. I indulge in tea at night. Other than that, my husband says I am the most boring person on Earth in terms of what I drink.

    Take care!

    • Thank you Carrie! Having a drink before showering helps me so much so I hope it benefits you too. It’s so true, I’ve learnt more from other people in the same situation as me than I have from medical professionals. I can’t tolerate coffee at all sadly but I substitute it for a chicory and medicinal mushroom drink which provides an energy boost without the negative side effects of caffeine. Haha I get told I’m boring for what I drink too. Thank you, you take care too!

  • Great list even for those of us who don’t have POTS… it’s so important to stay hydrated! Fortunately I like drinking plain water but I do know some people who don’t like that and get dehydrated as a result.

    • Thank you Sheryl, I really appreciate your comment. Staying hydrated really does help me so much! I’m one of those people who found plain water makes me more dehydrated but I’m so pleased you enjoy it and it helps you 🙂

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