Proper Hydration When Injured

Are you struggling to recover from an injury? Have you considered how hydration can play a role in your rehabilitation? Staying hydrated is important for everyone, but it becomes even more important when injured. Adequate hydration is essential for supporting the body’s natural processes, and can also help prevent complications like constipation and urinary tract infections. So how much fluid do we need to stay optimally hydrated?


How Much To Hydrate? It Depends.

Generally, the amount of fluid needed depends on a variety of factors, including body weight, activity level, and environmental conditions. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that men aim for a total water intake of about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) per day, and women aim for a total water intake of about 2.7 liters (91 ounces) per day.1 However, it’s important to note that this includes all sources of fluids, including beverages, foods, and metabolism. For example, consuming higher protein and fiber diets can increase your need for fluids in order to help digest your foods and reduce the likelihood of constipation.

Another study by Laja Gacia et al., found that it averages 2.5 liters for men and 2.0 liters for women.2 One thing to note is that they considered 14 years and older to be in the adult category. We know that children have different body compositions than adults and that can significantly impact how much water is needed. Otherwise for older adults, you will typically see less muscle mass, more chronic health conditions, larger number of medications that affect hydration/thirst, and even reduced activity levels. The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) recommends at least 1.6 liters and 2.0 liters for women and men respectively.3


Set The Baseline & Measure Your Response

A few ways you can implement this is to start off measuring how much you’re currently drinking and look at your response in the following categories:

  • energy levels
  • urine output and color
  • stool density
  • skin hydration
  • thirst throughout the day/with activity


Electrolytes & Sodium

When rehydrating after an activity, it is important to replenish both fluids and electrolytes, including sodium (salt). The amount of salt you should consume depends on the duration and intensity of the activity, as well as your individual needs and preferences. As a general guideline, consuming about 0.5-0.7 grams of sodium per liter of fluid consumed during or after an activity can help replace the sodium lost through sweat and aid in rehydration. However, this may vary depending on individual factors, such as sweat rate, body size, and sweat sodium concentration. If you are unsure about how much sodium to consume for optimal rehydration, you may consider consulting with a sports nutritionist or a healthcare professional who can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and goals.

When recovering from an injury, it’s often recommended to increase fluid intake to support the body’s healing processes. This is especially important if you have a fever or are experiencing increased fluid loss due to things like wound drainage or vomiting. Your healthcare provider may recommend a specific amount of fluid intake based on your individual needs and the nature of your injury.


Not All Fluids Are Created Equal

It’s also important to note that not all fluids are created equal. Water is usually the best choice for staying hydrated, but other fluids like tea, coffee, and juice can also contribute to overall hydration. However, some fluids like alcohol and sugary drinks can actually dehydrate the body, so it’s best to limit these.

In general, it’s a good idea to drink fluids throughout the day, rather than waiting until you’re thirsty. This can help ensure that you’re staying adequately hydrated, which is important for overall health and for supporting the healing process when recovering from an injury.


  • Sozo Lifestyle Medicine: This is a great way to start off with an evaluation from someone who can think holistically, run blood testing, and perform basic body composition screening to develop a plan
  • Scottsdale Sports Medicine Institute: If you’re a weekend warrior or professional athlete, you could also go a step further by getting sport specific testing while discussing optimal hydration for you specifically


About The Author

About the author: Dr. James Babana is the owner of Push Through Performance which is a physical therapy and performance clinic located in Troon North of Scottsdale, Arizona. If you would like to schedule an appointment with him, you can visit the home page and click “Schedule Now.”

For any questions on this post or suggestions for future blog content, email or call (480) 945-0088.


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  2. Laja García AI, Moráis-Moreno C, Samaniego-Vaesken ML, Puga AM, Varela-Moreiras G, Partearroyo T. Association between Hydration Status and Body Composition in Healthy Adolescents from Spain. Nutrients. 2019 Nov 7;11(11):2692. doi: 10.3390/nu11112692. PMID: 31703309; PMCID: PMC6893474.
  3. Dorothee Volkert, Anne Marie Beck, Tommy Cederholm, Alfonso Cruz-Jentoft, Lee Hooper, Eva Kiesswetter, Marcello Maggio, Agathe Raynaud-Simon, Cornel Sieber, Lubos Sobotka, Dieneke van Asselt, Rainer Wirth, Stephan C. Bischoff, ESPEN practical guideline: Clinical nutrition and hydration in geriatrics, Clinical Nutrition, Volume 41, Issue 4, 2022, Pages 958-989, ISSN 0261-5614,



Dr. James Babana

PT, DPT, Owner & Founder

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