How Long Does It Take to Rehydrate?

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You are still in the middle of your workout and already feeling parched, which makes you wonder how long does it take to rehydrate? 

Besides feeling a sharp decline in your focus and energy level as thirst increases, dehydration also brings about other negative effects to your mind and body. It may include a headache, muscle cramps, disorientation, irritability, and dry mouth. And those are just the external manifestation. Inside you, dire things happen as your body’s water content depletes. Among them is the thickening of your blood and impeding its healthy circulation. This does not only stress your heart but also causes an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol level. 

Dehydration is truly a serious matter. Losing 15% to 20% of your body’s water component can be extremely fatal. Just a few notches below that percentage can damage your kidneys and make them fail. In fact, even a slight drop in your body’s hydration level may affect how you perform in various physical and mental activities. 

how long does it take to rehydrate

Inadequacy in liquid intake is likewise detrimental to your metabolism and immunity as your system will have difficulty flushing out toxins. Your body would even struggle in stabilizing its core temperature, which is essential to your basic survival. Moreover, stored fats in your adipocytes would not likely be released if you are poorly hydrated, making it harder for you to get into a great shape. 

To answer the original question “How long does it take to rehydrate”, you must first determine its cause and the extent of its harm. Dehydration can be classified from slight to advanced to severe. As for its causes, the following are probably the most common:

  • Lack of nourishment and replenishment of lost body fluid.  
  • Digestive illnesses and distresses such as diarrhea, bulimia, food poisoning, etc.
  • Profuse sweating as a result of heat exposure, physical exertion, or some kind of illnesses. 
  • Frequent urination, which could or could not be caused by diuretics or some health issues that cause water imbalance such as diabetes.
  • Body is battling a viral or bacterial infection. 

Slight Dehydration

Mild dehydration affects everyone on a daily basis. You can actually lose 1 – 2% of your body’s water content through normal sweating and passing of urine. You ought to know that even the slightest movement you make generates body heat and sweating is your system’s natural cooling mechanism. Whether you like it or not, your body utilizes part of your water composition every day and must be replenished regularly. In fact, dehydration sets in even before you feel thirsty. 

How long does it take to rehydrate when you are mildly suffering from water deficiency? In this case, merely drinking a glass or two of good old clean H20 can restore water balance in your system almost instantly or in just a matter of minutes. You probably heard it thousands of times before that a regular adult should consume 6-8 glasses of water a day. This, of course, will not be done in one sitting but spread out in your entire waking hours. This will not only keep you hydrated but also provide your body with numerous health benefits.

Advanced Dehydration

In this state, you probably lost 5% or slightly higher of your body’s water content. It is more likely caused by a voluntary or involuntary fast wherein you did not partake any nourishment or any potable liquid for a lengthy period, prolonged exposure to heat, or engaging in physically taxing activities such as working out, playing sports, chopping woods, or doing other laborious jobs that make you sweat profusely for maybe a couple of hours at the most.

In this case, it may take between 30-45 minutes to get fully hydrated. While Gatorade, fruit juices and other non-alcoholic and low-sugar drinks may do the trick, 2 – 3 glasses of cool and clean water may be highly sufficient. It is also recommended that you drink at least a glass of water before a game, training session, or other physical activities for better performance.

how long does it take to rehydrate

Severe Dehydration 

At this level, your body is already inside or approaching the danger zone wherein your electrolytes are being rapidly depleted. Most common causes here are severe diarrhea, complications from viral or bacterial infection, and malnourishment. Severe deficiency in essential electrolytes such as calcium and potassium have debilitating effects such as muscle spasm, cramping and weakness, respiratory distress and other serious symptoms. If not mitigated, this could lead to death. 

Correcting severe dehydration may take hours or even days and might require more extreme measures. In some cases, ample oral hydration with water, rehydration salts or other solutions and food may suffice. But in most instances, administering intravenous fluids and other forms of medical intervention is required.  

how long does it take to rehydrate


Dehydration does not only affects your ability to perform and think at a high level. If not attenuated, it may lead to some serious health issues and even death. Take heed of your body’s way of telling you that it needs water replenishment, or better yet, make it a habit to hydrate constantly throughout the day. 

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