Drier than the Gobi, and hating every second of it.
February 25, 2008 8:14 AM   Subscribe

How can I rehydrate quickly after a bad cold?

My sinuses feel like paper, and the skin around my nose is all flaky, following a week of hacking coughing, persistent sneezing, constant nose wiping and feverish sweating. I'd like to boost my hydration quickly and get back to feeling a little more normal. Any advice for quick rehydration?
posted by Sara Anne to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Sleep with a humidifier, and if you can, run it nearby during the day, as well. Other than that, I'd say the obvious answers are to use a facial moisturizer and drink a lot of water or Gatorade.
posted by amro at 8:17 AM on February 25, 2008

Pedialyte works wonders and was recommended by my doctor even for adults.
posted by elendil71 at 8:23 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sports drinks and chicken soup (or miso, if you don't eat chicken) work wonders to rehydrate. Don't fill up on caffeinated liquids because that will just dehydrate you more. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables, which have lots of water in them.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:28 AM on February 25, 2008

Most sports drinks are loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Stick to water, maybe Pedialyte if water isn't cutting it after a couple of days.
posted by Mikey-San at 8:32 AM on February 25, 2008

Gatorade might BLOAT you. Hit up a steamroom.The hotness will open you up, and the steam will work wonders for your skin.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:32 AM on February 25, 2008

Oranges - the Vitamin C, plus all the juice.
I'm not a big fan of Gatorade - too many empty calories. Instead, I've been getting the Propel powder packets and dumping them two at a time into my quart bottle. I alternate one Propel-ed bottle with one bottle of straight water.
posted by notsnot at 8:33 AM on February 25, 2008

I seem to recall reading somewhere that sports teams - in specific, I think it was an article about the Detroit Red Wings - don't actually drink Gatorade or any of those "sports" drinks - they stick mostly to... God, and this is the part that would be useful to you, I think it was some sort of children's juice or something, because, something, something..

I'm so useless.
posted by kbanas at 8:37 AM on February 25, 2008 [4 favorites]

The symptoms you're describing probably aren't from dehydration. They are more likely due to local trauma and inflammation, so rehydrating systemically probably isn't going to help much. You might consider a topical moisturizer for your nose and maybe a trial of nasal saline spray.

As far as systemic hydration goes, as long as you're eating a reasonable diet and have working kidneys, water is probably fine. Pedialyte, Propel, Gatorade, and whatever else you can think of really aren't providing you a big advantage and may be sneaking in sugar you probably don't need in the absence of ongoing electrolyte losses which you aren't having. Avoid the terrible advice regarding a steamroom at least if sysemic hydration is your goal.

Really, you just need time.
posted by drpynchon at 8:47 AM on February 25, 2008

It's not dehydration, in the typical sense, but your skin is suffering a bit from inflammation and irritation. I've had the flaky nostrils. It's uh, not good. Here's what I do to recover my skin from a bad sneeze/sniffle/tissue episode where everything feels dry and stuff gets flaky.

Keep the humidifier running. I start mine when I get home from work and shut if off before I leave. This is general good advice for anyone who lives in a winter climate that is pretty dry. It cuts down on dry skin due to lack of humidity/chapped from the cold, and it keeps your nose/throat passages moist. My skin looks/feels better, and I generally feel better overall with some humidity.

Exfoliate your skin gently before you go to bed, after washing your face. Get a little flat exfoliating pad and a mild cleanser. Then use a rich moisturizer compatible with your skin, or if you want to go a different way - break open a vitamin E oil capsule and apply.

Sleep with it on. In the morning, you might want to skip the exfoliating with the pad just so you don't over-irritate the are. Just wash with a face cloth and the mild soap. Moisturizing depends on your usual morning routines (if you wear make-up, etc).
posted by jerseygirl at 9:12 AM on February 25, 2008

don't over-irritate the area, even
posted by jerseygirl at 9:14 AM on February 25, 2008

re: gatorade - they also make a powdered version that has sucrose and dextrose rather than corn syrup. For 16 ounces I mix one "scoop" which is about 21mg of carbs and 75 carbs, which is sort of middle ground between juices/sodas and water, and satisfies my soda cravings. Can't quite get the hang of flavored waters and those sucralose drinks.
posted by jwells at 9:28 AM on February 25, 2008

Try using Aquaphor healing lotion on your poor, abused nose.
posted by jenfu at 9:56 AM on February 25, 2008

My mom always rubbed a little bit of Formula 405 on my raw, irritated nose during/after a cold. Works wonders. You can get it at the drugstore.
posted by radioamy at 10:43 AM on February 25, 2008

Seconding the use of a broth of some sort. Sports drinks are filled with sugar, but the salt in a broth really helps your body hold on to the water.
posted by lucidreamstate at 10:43 AM on February 25, 2008

Nasal spray, just the plain saline kind. I have an herbal one from Whole Foods that I really like, but my boyfriend can't stand the herbal smell of it. I find it to be even more soothing than just the saline, but YMMV. Also agree with everyone saying to use a humidifier. I wouldn't do any exfoliation until your nose is no longer sore. I use jojoba on my nose during and after a cold- non greasy, no potentially irritating ingredients.

Salty foods make me feel more dehydrated. Again, YMMV.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:28 AM on February 25, 2008

How can I rehydrate quickly after a bad cold?
posted by tiburon at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2008

a doctor friend or a registered nurse can administer you fluids intravenously. you'd be surprised how effective it is. for hangovers, too.
posted by matteo at 12:49 PM on February 25, 2008

Stay hydrated the whole time. Seriously, being well hydrated (and well humidified) helps your immune system fight the cold. The "looser" your sickness-related fluids are, the easier you can get the bad stuff out.

Drink tons of water with meals, and some kind of Pedialite thing between meals. The reason is that (apparently), water needs to have sugar and salt in it to be more easily absorbed into the digestive system. You've got that already in food, so no need for more.
posted by gjc at 7:22 PM on February 25, 2008

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