Along with salt, fluids are your new best friends. Why you may ask? Because with POTS it’s essential to increase fluid intake to stay hydrated and treat symptoms. In fact, it’s another basic POTS lifestyle change I’m going to share with you! Since you need to increase your salt intake, you also need to increase your fluid intake to avoid dehydration and to further raise your blood volume. Then you’ll reap the full benefits this two-part remedy can provide for your POTS symptoms.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, POTS patients should strive to drink 2-2.5 liters of water each day.
If you round up, one liter is approximately 34 fl oz. So, after crunching the numbers, you’ll need to drink between 68-85 fl oz/day.
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Tracking your fluid intake with POTS
Keeping track of your fluid intake with POTS every day is super easy. Water bottles tell you the quantity of liquid they hold, and reusable water bottles are often marked with measurements for easy tracking. Plus, there are plenty of apps you can use to keep a tally of just how much water you’ve consumed.
However, I have a love-hate relationship with these tracking apps. They’re great for the organization lover in me, but not very practical for when I’ve got a million other things to do in my day. I’ve tried using them in the past and being strict with recording, but it usually pans out like this: I’ll do a great job at keeping track of my fluid intake for about two days. Then I’ll forget to track a glass of water here or there, and before I know it, I’ve completely forgotten to update my intake log for an entire day, or two, or three. Oops.
For me, the easiest way to track my fluid intake with POTS is by using water bottles, especially a large (reusable!) one that I only have to refill two or three times a day. If you can find one that holds a liter’s worth of fluid, then it’ll be easy for you to keep track of your daily intake. Just remember that you have to drink 2-3 bottles worth of water or other fluids every day.
If you don’t like lugging around a giant bottle all day, you can opt for a smaller one. I once had a classmate who carried around a gallon-sized water bottle, and while I admired his dedication to hydration, I wondered how he hauled it across campus all day. But it worked for him, and that’s all that mattered!
Can I drink other fluids besides water?
I hinted at this earlier, but you can absolutely drink other fluids besides plain ol’ water. Try adding some lemon or lime to your water, or infusing it with other fruits for a different flavor.
You can also drink juice or tea, but be careful of caffeine in tea if you’re sensitive to it. It’s a diuretic, and POTS patients should avoid those. It kinda contradicts the whole “stay hydrated” thing.
Of course, I say this, and I still stubbornly drink coffee, even though doctors advise POTS patients to either limit or avoid it. BUT, I can still drink ONE cup of coffee and be okay, as long as I drink water with it. If I have too much coffee, or a second cup later in the day, I get symptomatic. Sigh. I do love my coffee. But I know my limits and what I can handle, so I stick to them. You’ll have to experiment and see what you can tolerate!
What about electrolyte drinks for staying hydrated?
Electrolyte drinks like Pedialyte, Liquid IV, Gatorade and others are also good options to increase fluid intake with POTS. Personally, I drink Gatorade when I’m exercising, but if I’m seriously dehydrated, Pedialyte becomes my go-to. I also recently tried Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier in the lemon-lime flavor when I was sick, and I can’t wait to try it in summer too because it is seriously rehydrating. Test them out if you haven’t already and see which ones work best for you!
On a similar note, electrolyte drinks work really well in the heat. This past summer, I went to Boston with my boyfriend during a heatwave, so I brought some Pedialyte Electrolyte Powder packets in case I got really dehydrated and symptomatic.
Let me tell you, I am so glad I brought them. We went on one of the Boston Harbor Islands ferries and spent half of the day walking around an island. It was hot, and I got symptomatic. Shocker. Luckily, I was prepared! I chugged a full bottle of Pedialyte, and I felt substantially better. My racing pulse calmed down, the lethargy eased, and I didn’t feel like I’d blackout when I stood up to get off the ferry.
Side note: I’d be curious to know what other people’s experiences have been like in the heat with POTS. It’s a trigger for my symptoms, so I’m always looking for ways to combat exposure to high temperatures.
The takeaway on fluid intake and POTS
No matter what method of fluid intake tracking you use or the type of fluids you choose to drink, as long as you’re hitting your daily quota consistently, stick to it! It’s SO important for POTS patients to increase their daily fluid intake and stick to it as best as they can. Yes, you’ll probably be making more trips to the bathroom than you’d like, but staying hydrated is crucial for us POTSies.
What fluids work best for your symptoms? Does anyone have suggestions for combating the summer heat? Comment below!
Looking for more POTS treatment tips? Check out this page for more helpful information.
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