Covid-19 And Hydration

All human adults are made up of approcimately 60% water. Every system in our body critically depends on water to operate. 

Whether you are feeling healthy or unwell, the body needs water to maintain its bodily functions. It helps to boost our energy levels, regulate internal body temperature, transport nutrients to our cells, and even flush out waste. Good hydration also lowers the risks of a number of ailments, including respiratory problems.

Keeping yourself hydrated is regarded as an essential part of medical treatment because it promotes recovery from COVID-19 and strengthens our body's ability to fight the virus.

What is COVID-19?

The Coronavirus is related to a group of viruses that look like simple spheres covered with little spikes of protein, resembling the crown or corona (the Latin word for a crown). There are hundreds of known coronaviruses, seven of which have been identified to cause human respiratory illnesses. They are mostly responsible for mild cold and flu-like symptoms. 

However, the emergence of three major pathogenic deadly coronaviruses over the last two decades. Namely, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV) epidemic in 2002, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-COV) in 2012, and SARS-COV-2, which started the ongoing COVID-19 global outbreak. These viruses can lead to severe respiratory health problems. 

Coronaviruses are zoonotic in nature, meaning they can easily spread between animals and humans.

Covid-19 is thought to be highly contagious, especially in enclosed spaces. It can enter your body through inhaling airborne droplets or from close contact with an infected person. If infected, the virus may enter the respiratory tract and cling to cells there, where it may start to transmit infection from the lung tissues to other body regions. 

Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 symptoms vary from person to person. Some affected individuals are asymptomatic, which means they do not develop any symptoms at all. It is always advised to seek immediate medical attention if any of the COVID-19 symptoms persist.

The following are common symptoms of COVID-19 but are not limited to: 

  • Shortness of breath 
  • Fever
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Loss of taste or smell 
  • Cough
  • Sore throat

Some other symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Chest pain or congestion
  • Sniffing nose
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Skin rashes or discoloration of toes or fingers (less common)

Being ill can lead to dehydration

The function of the body essentially depends on water. Dehydration usually results when affected by an infectious disease. Researchers have thought that the fluid deficit during sickness causes low permeability of the cells and may also compromise the body’s capacity to mount an effective immune response.1


During a COVID fever, the body loses more bodily fluids through sweat to lower the temperature. A high temperature means the individual will experience more dehydration because the body will attempt to cool down the symptoms. If the fluid intake is not compensated for during an illness, the body may have more difficulty regulating functions and this may contribute to increased feverish temperatures.

Decreased appetite and thirst

The loss of appetite and thirst are commonly observed in COVID-19 patients. This is because COVID-19 causes the chemosensory dysfunction of detecting odours and basic tastes, which leads to loss of appetite and dehydration due to less fluid intake from food sources.2 Furthermore, fever accompanied by diarrhoea, vomiting, or nausea, commonly seen as COVID-19 symptoms, worsens dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Why is hydration important for recovery from illness?

Proper hydration is a key factor in recovering from the disease.3 Drinking plenty of fluids helps our immune system to fetch nutrients from blood circulation and enhances our ability to counter infections. Moreover, it promotes mucosal membrane cells to act as a barrier against pathogens, decreasing nasal irritation, relieving breathing, and clearing out the secretions in your lungs, which may lead to pneumonia.

Tips on staying hydrated whilst being ill

One of the biggest issues during sickness is that it stems from dehydration and nutrient insufficiency. It is recommended to stay hydrated or replenish the body's need for fast recovery. The suggested amount for adults to stay hydrated is to drink at least 6–8 glasses of fluid per day.

Other tips for rehydration include:

  • You can have a variety of drinks you enjoy, ranging from warm or cold beverages to avoid taste fatigue
  • Take frequent sips of water every few minutes
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, as they do not assist in hydration
  • Add more moist foods to your lists-soup, sauces, porridge, and yogurt
  • Add fresh fruit slices or ice cubes to your drinks to make them more appealing 
  • Try oral rehydration solutions to restore electrolyte balance and relieve mild virus-related vomiting or diarrhea
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Add high calorie or protein-based diet to uplift your metabolic functions
  • Add potassium-rich foods to your diet, like bananas, cantaloupes, and avocados
  • Have a full glass of water while taking medications


Hydration is an essential element for maintaining normal bodily functions. Not drinking enough water impacts the body's ability to combat the disease and slows down its recovery phase. Even if you lack appetite or thirst, it is critical to drink plenty of fluids and supplement your diet with nutrients. Replenishing your energy and hydration will support your immune system to fight COVID-19 and improve your overall health.


  1. The danger of dehydration | spot it in COVID-19 patients - Healthcare Infection Society [Internet].
  2. Høier ATZB, Chaaban N, Andersen BV. Possibilities for Maintaining Appetite in Recovering COVID-19 Patients. Foods. 2021 Feb 20;10(2):464.
  3. ASPEN | [Internet]. Available from:

Sadaf Ahmed

Master of Science - MSc, Physiology, Clinical & Molecular Hematology, Karachi University, Pakistan

Sadaf is an experienced writer who creates a quality and well-researched scripts particularly related to Health Sciences. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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