The advice from the NHS is to stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms: a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.
Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 and people that are experiencing symptoms need to stay at home in isolation until they have recovered.
One of the key ways in which you can look after your health and wellbeing while you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms and self-isolating at home is by staying hydrated.
The NHS recommends that you drink plenty of water during the day, enough so that your urine is a clear, pale yellow colour.
It’s always important to keep hydrated, even when you are feeling well. Drinking water keeps the body functioning in a number of ways:
- Regulates your temperature
- Removes waste products
- Aids your digestive system
- Moves oxygen and nutrients around the body
How much water should you drink?
As a guideline the recommended daily water intake for adults is 1.5 to 2 litres, which works out as around 8-10 glasses.
Ways to stay hydrated
Drinking enough water may seem hard, but there are some easy ways to get into the hydration habit:
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up to replace the fluids your body’s used up during the night.
- Use a transparent water bottle so you always have water to hand and can instantly see how much you’ve drank.
- Try out a water reminder app so that hydration doesn’t slip your mind.
- Get creative and make water more appealing by trying out fizzy water, adding a slice of lemon or lime or even using a fruit infuser to create a refreshing drink.
- Incorporate water-rich foods into your meals and snacks for an extra boost.
What to drink to stay hydrated
Water is the best thing you can drink for hydration. Whether you get your water from the tap, filter it or prefer mineral water, the most important point is to drink enough of it on a regular basis.
However, other drinks and even some foods count towards your daily target.
- Milk – The best second choice after water. Cow’s milk contains protein, vitamins and minerals and has no added sugar. If you’re an adult or older child, choose semi-skimmed milk. Dairy-free alternative milks like almond or soya milk also count towards daily hydration.
- Tea and coffee – Mostly water-based, tea and coffee count towards your daily fluid target. While they contain caffeine, which should be consumed in moderation, you benefit from calcium and other nutrients if you take milk with your hot drinks.
- Sugar-free drinks – If you’re drinking other liquids, try to choose sugar-free options to minimise empty calories and tooth decay.
- Fruit juice – Fruit juice can count towards one of your five a day, as well as keeping you hydrated. Because of the sugars which occur in fruit, its acidity can harm your teeth. It’s recommended you only drink 150ml of fruit juice or smoothies a day.
- Squash – While the water volume in squash forms part of your daily fluid intake, squash often contains sugar which can damage your teeth.
- Water-rich foods – About 20% of our water intake comes from food, so understanding different sources of hydration is a great way to get the water your body needs.
Here are just a few examples of water-rich foods:
Cucumber – 96% water
Tomatoes – 95% water
Green peppers – 93% water
Spinach – 92% water
Oranges – 86% water
Apples – 85% water
Finding a way of drinking water that you like will help you turn hydration from a chore into a healthy habit that you can keep up even once your Coronavirus symptoms have passed.