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Blackberry's avatar

How long after drinking a bunch of water are you officially hydrated?

Asked by Blackberry (29397 points ) April 16th, 2012

Is it the next day? When the urine is clear?

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9 Answers

gasman's avatar

Granted a bunch of water in your stomach isn’t much good for a body lacking in total water—it’s gotta get absorbed by the colon. So I’d say it’s when your urine production begins to increase again, reflecting corrected intravascular volume. When the kidneys speak, listen!

Uberwench's avatar

Clear urine is only a sign that you were well hydrated. Water is absorbed all the way throughout your digestive tract, starting at your mouth (especially if you are dehydrated). Most of it is absorbed in your intestines, though, so no more than a half hour should be needed to get all the hydration you’re going to get from a drink of water.

marinelife's avatar

“Some water is absorbed within seconds to minutes from the mouth and stomach.

After that, the sooner water is emptied from the stomach, the faster it is absorbed, since the maximum rate of absorption occurs in the small intestine. How fast the stomach empties depends on the temp of the water, with cooler water emptying out more quickly.

Absorption of water also varies depending on your level of hydration. And there seems to be mystical genetic factor as well.

But if you’re thirsty, and you drink a load of water, it’s going to be absorbed pretty darn quick”

Buck Tilton Medicine Man Backpacker Magazine

Ponderer983's avatar

When the skin on the back of your hand springs back like it should?

gasman's avatar

I agree that water absorption begins immediately, though most occurs in colon. And an intake of mostly water will reach the colon far sooner than a full meal.

@Uberwench Yes, clear urine represents good hydration (or over-hydration) after the fact. If somebody is dehydrated to start with & producing smaller amounts of concentrated urine, however, they won’t be effectively re-hydrated until urine production begins to increase again, generally sooner than it turns dilute but still some time after oral intake.

WestRiverrat's avatar

You are better off taking several smaller drinks than one giant drink if you are severely dehydrated. Too much too fast will cause you to vomit, it will also slow the rate of absorption.

Sunny2's avatar

What I’ve been told is that if you drink water only when you are thirsty, you are past the point when you need to hydrate. As @WestRiverrat said, drink at fairly frequent intervals, like at meals and breaks, or whatever fits your schedule.

JLeslie's avatar

Please remember that a “bunch” of water at once can be deadly. Your kidneys cannot eliminate fast enough and you drown your tissues. I indirectly know one persn who was hospitalized because of this, and another who died.

If you are actually dehydrated and the water is needed, it does get absorbed pretty quickly. Severly dehydrated it is safer to put back some electrolytes also. Your body is constantly maintaining your electrolytes in balance, it is extremely important. If you eat something you will get salts, it isn’t that you have to have salt and potassium in the drink.

Blackberry's avatar

Thanks for the answers, everyone :)

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