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What can I drink to help Covid recovery?

Recovering from Covid-19 can be a long and difficult process. While there is no miracle cure, certain beverages may help support your immune system and ease symptoms as your body fights off the virus and recuperates. Hydration, nutrition, and anti-inflammatory compounds are key. Here are some of the top drinks to consider adding to your diet during Covid recovery.

Stay Hydrated

Keeping your body well hydrated should be a top priority during any illness recovery. When you’re sick with Covid-19, you can become dehydrated from fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and respiratory symptoms like runny nose and coughing. Dehydration makes symptoms feel worse and can hinder your ability to fight off illness.

Aim to drink at least 64 ounces (8 cups) of fluids per day while recovering from Covid. Water is always a great choice. You can also sip on electrolyte drinks like coconut water, pedialyte, or sports drinks to replenish fluids and minerals lost through symptoms like fever and vomiting. Soup broths are hydrating as well.

Water

Plain water should be your primary go-to beverage during Covid recovery. It hydrates without providing unnecessary sugars or calories. You can enhance the flavor of water by adding:

  • Slices of fruit like lemon, lime, orange, or watermelon
  • Herbs like mint, basil, or rosemary
  • Vegetables like cucumber slices
  • 100% fruit juice in moderation

Sip water consistently throughout the day rather than guzzling large amounts at once. Drinking 8 to 12 ounces every hour or so is an easy way to pace yourself. Set a reminder if needed.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is nature’s sports drink. It provides hydration along with potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and other essential electrolytes. Electrolytes are important for energy, heart function, muscle contraction, and more. Illness and dehydration deplete your body’s electrolyte reserves.

Low potassium and magnesium levels in particular can make you feel weak and fatigued. Coconut water is an excellent way to replenish these important minerals and rehydrate after bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, or heavy sweating from fever.

Look for 100% coconut water without added sugars. Drink up to 12 ounces per day. Avoid excessive intake for those with kidney disease due to the high potassium content.

Soup Broth

Warm broth is soothing and hydrating. Sipping on bone broth, chicken broth, or vegetable broth can help you meet your fluid needs while recovering from Covid.

Opt for low-sodium varieties to avoid dehydration from excess sodium intake. You can also make your own broth using ingredients like chicken, beef, or vegetables simmered in water for several hours.

Drink broth straight up or use it as a base for soups packed with immune-boosting ingredients like garlic, onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and greens.

Pedialyte

Pedialyte is an oral rehydration solution designed to replenish fluids and electrolytes in children with vomiting or diarrhea. It can also be helpful for adults suffering from dehydration and electrolyte imbalance when ill with Covid.

Pedialyte contains water, sugar, and optimal levels of sodium, potassium, chloride, and zinc to effectively rehydrate the body. The sugar helps your small intestine absorb the electrolytes.

Drink Pedialyte chilled or at room temperature. Avoid excessive consumption, as too much can cause diarrhea. If you have kidney issues or congestive heart failure, check with your doctor before using Pedialyte.

Juices

Fruit and vegetable juices can provide hydration along with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to help fuel your recovery. Try these healthy juice options:

  • Cranberry juice: Provides vitamin C and antioxidants. Helps prevent urinary tract infections.
  • Orange juice: Packed with immune-boosting vitamin C. Choose 100% juice and limit intake to 4-6 ounces per day.
  • Pomegranate juice: Rich in antioxidants to fight inflammation. Drink up to 8 ounces per day.
  • Green vegetable juices: Blend veggies like spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, carrots, and ginger. Excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Avoid apple and grape juice, which have higher sugar and lower nutrient content. Also limit high-sugar fruit juices to 4-6 ounces per day and dilute with water if needed.

Smoothies

Whipping up a fruit and veggie smoothie is an easy way to pack extra nutrients into your diet for recovery. Blend your favorite fruit and vegetables into a drinkable meal.

Try ingredients like bananas, berries, spinach, kale, carrots, avocado, yogurt, milk, coconut water, ice, and honey or maple syrup to sweeten if desired. You can also add spices like cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, or cocoa powder.

Rotate different ingredient combos to give your body a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Drink smoothies with a straw to avoid excess air swallowing, which can aggravate coughing.

Herbal Teas

Sipping on warm, soothing teas is a good way to stay hydrated and get anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immunity-boosting compounds as you recover from Covid-19. Some teas to consider:

  • Green tea: Rich in antioxidants called polyphenols that reduce inflammation and support immune function.
  • Black tea: Contains immunity-boosting compounds like theaflavins. Opt for decaf if avoiding caffeine.
  • Ginger tea: Gingerol has antimicrobial and anti-nausea effects. Soothes nausea and upset stomach.
  • Peppermint tea: Menthol has antiviral activity. Soothes sore throat and reduces coughing.
  • Chamomile tea: Has anti-inflammatory apigenin. Relieves coughing and promotes restful sleep.
  • Turmeric tea: Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Mix turmeric powder into warm milk.

Sweeten teas lightly with honey if desired. Herbal teas can also count towards your daily fluid intake.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade can help replenish fluids, electrolytes, and carbohydrates lost after heavy sweating from fever or vomiting with Covid illness. They contain key electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

The smaller 8-12 ounce bottles are recommended for illness recovery rather than the 20 ounce sizes. Avoid using sports drinks long-term due to their high sugar content.

Oral Rehydration Solutions

In addition to Pedialyte, the World Health Organization recommends oral rehydration solutions like CeraLyte, Ceralyte50, or DripDrop ORS to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes after dehydration from diarrhea or vomiting.

These low-sugar electrolyte solutions contain a specific ratio of sodium, glucose, and potassium optimized for rapid intestinal absorption. They are proven medical therapies for dehydration recovery.

Drink the amount recommended on the package or follow your doctor’s instructions if using an oral rehydration solution.

Bone Broth

Warm, soothing bone broth is a nourishing beverage to help you recover from Covid-19. Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue in water for many hours, releasing collagen, amino acids, and minerals.

Bone broth delivers health benefits including:

  • Reduces inflammation – Contains anti-inflammatory amino acids like glycine.
  • Supports gut health – Glycine and collagen help repair gut lining.
  • Hydrates – Provides fluid and electrolytes.
  • Eases nausea – Gelatin soothes GI tract.

Drink up to 1-2 cups of bone broth per day. Opt for organic, homemade varieties over store-bought to avoid additives. Chicken, beef, and fish bone broths are most common.

Avoid Sugary Drinks

It’s best to cut out high-sugar drinks like soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, and sweetened teas while recovering from Covid. The sugar can suppress immune function and dehydrate your body.

Limit fruit juice intake to 4-6 ounces per day and dilute with water. Water, herbal tea, broths, and diluted juices are healthier options.

If you are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting, avoid fruit juices high in simple sugars and instead sip on electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte designed for illness recovery.

Avoid Alcohol

Do not drink alcoholic beverages when recovering from Covid-19. Alcohol dehydrates your body and impairs immune function, which is the last thing you need.

Alcohol interacts with common medications used for symptomatic treatment like acetaminophen, cough syrups, antibiotics, etc. Avoid drinking until you have fully recovered.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to signals of thirst and sip fluids throughout the day to stay well hydrated during illness recovery. Cool beverages can soothe sore throats.

If you have nausea, try small, frequent sips of clear fluids like water, broth, or diluted juice. Avoid drinking large amounts at once if you have vomiting or diarrhea. Get electrolytes if imbalanced.

Keep a water bottle and beverage options on hand to make drinking easy. Rest and take it slow. Support your body with plenty of hydration and nutrition.

Summary

Hydration is extremely important during Covid-19 recovery. Focus on drinking adequate water, broth, herbal teas, diluted juices and smoothies. Bone broth, coconut water, and oral rehydration solutions help replenish electrolytes. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol. Listen to your body’s needs and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Proper hydration supports healing.

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