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The Importance of Hydration during Addiction Recovery

By Patrick BaileyTwitter Profile | Updated: Tuesday, 14 January 2020 06:25 UTC
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The Importance of Hydration during Addiction Recovery
The Importance of Hydration during Addiction Recovery

Just as water is imperative for overall health and wellness, it is integral to addiction recovery and treatment, too. In addition to bodily systems, mood, and longevity, hydration also helps those going through withdrawal, detoxification, and abstinence from intoxicants of any kind. You can’t function properly mentally, physically, or emotionally if you are dehydrated; are you drinking enough water?

Regardless of the drug detox methods used, hydration is critically important during addiction recovery:

Flushes Away Toxins

Water helps flush away toxins, which is integral when withdrawing from substances. The faster the toxins leave the body, the faster you will stop craving chemicals or having withdrawal symptoms. Make sure to supplement water with electrolytes, lost during detox.

Faster Detoxification

Proper hydration helps your body be more efficient during metabolism and detoxification. In short, it is faster which helps you feel better fast during this uncomfortable, even painful, time.

Prevents Dehydration

If you are recovering from alcohol dependence, you will need to fend off dehydration during detox. Alcohol is a diuretic, so your body is losing hydration every day. Being dehydrated may make it even more difficult to abstain and recover from addiction. Take in more fluids, primarily water, than you lose through sweat, tears, and going to the bathroom.

Alleviates Discomfort

Did you know that dehydration can hurt? It makes aches, pains, and joint discomfort manifest with a vengeance. It is integral to get adequate hydration to prevent body aches, heartburn, migraines, ulcers, kidney stones, backaches, and joint pain that can rear their head during detoxification.

Reduces Symptoms

Do you know what dehydration looks like? If you are dealing with the effects of detox and withdrawal, you may not pick up on the signs and symptoms, including the following:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Swollen tongue
  • Dry eyes
  • Overall weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Sluggishness or lethargy
  • Fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine

Know that recovery from addiction can quickly cause you to become dehydrated, due to water output as well as any vomiting or diarrhea that accompanies detoxification. Medical detox often includes an IV to prevent dehydration during this phase.

Adequate Hydration

So, what is adequate hydration during recovery and detox? Typically, the recommended daily intake of water is one gallon for men, and 3 quarts for women; depending on your output during detox, you likely will need more. Keep in mind that hydration and your daily intake comes from more than the water that you drink; it is estimated that around 20% comes from the food that you eat.

Try these tips to stay hydrated, in recovery or not, and drink more fluids:

  • Add other fluids to your daily intake, like soups, juices, and foods high in water, like fruits.
  • Avoid caffeine which can contribute to dehydration.
  • Drink more when you work out.
  • Start a routine of drinking a full glass when you wake and before bed.
  • Invest in a reusable bottle to increase your intake wherever you happen to be.
  • Infuse your water to enhance the flavor but also to add a vitamin kick, such as a wedge of lemon for added Vitamin C.
  • HALT refers to situations that can trigger relapse: feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired can cause relapse in recovery. Drink water when you feel these emotions to fend off relapse while staying hydrated.

Adopt a Holistic Approach to Recovery. Take tips from a variety of methodologies to get through withdrawal symptoms. From acupuncture to exercise, borrow tactics from various schools of thought during recovery to find what works for you.

Are you drinking enough water? It can really help in recovery. It is estimated that one in eight adults in this country is battling alcohol and/or drug addiction. Call us today to learn more about recovery.

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