How long does it take to rehydrate?

Glass of water at a faucet overfilling. Caption reads
Glass of water at a faucet overfilling. Caption reads "how long does it take to rehydrate?" NormaLyte logo in white.

Our bodies are amazing.  For example, I found a study that suggests our hearts (and other autonomic functions) will match the beat of the music we listen to.  When it comes to dehydration, our bodies work perfectly and efficiently until you’re not properly hydrated.

Dehydration happens when you’re not getting an adequate amount of water to function properly.  There are a lot of reasons why it might happen including; sweating excessively, exposure to heat, chronic illness (Crohn’s Disease, POTS, gastroparesis, etc), and acute illnesses (like vomiting and diarrhea).  Being dehydrated can have negative impacts on your health including dizziness and brain fog.


You’re standing at the kitchen sink, glass in hand ready to take a drink.  But, how long does it take for your body to absorb the water?  In general, it takes 15 minutes from the time you take a drink to when it gets absorbed through your gastric system.  For someone who is not dehydrated this process is quick and simple.  If you are dehydrated, your body will be much slower to react.

There are different levels of dehydration and the answer depends on how dehydrated you are.  Let’s take a look at each level of dehydration.  

Mild to moderate dehydration

Even mild dehydration, which is defined as losing anywhere from 1-2% of your body's weight to dehydration can impair cognitive function.  You may start to notice symptoms such as:

  • Thirst
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Mood Changes
  • Brain Fog
  • Lightheadedness

The color of your urine is a great indicator even if you’re not noticing other symptoms.  Your urine will be dark yellow or amber when you are mildly dehydrated.  

Mild dehydration will impact your short term memory, how alert you are, and your concentration level.  The good news is that this is reversible.  Hydrating effectively can prevent dehydration from taking its hold.

When you are mildly to moderately dehydrated, the same glass of water we drank at the kitchen sink in our earlier example will take approximately 45+ minutes to absorb and fully reach your organs.

NormaLyte PURE Reviews ORS Electrolyte for POTS

Severe Dehydration

Severe dehydration, defined as losing more than 10% of your water weight, can potentially be a life threatening condition.  If it’s serious enough, your heart won’t be able to pump blood to the rest of your body, effectively stopping your heart.  Having an abnormal amount of electrolytes (minerals like sodium and potassium) in your body can lead to seizure and death.

At this stage of severe dehydration, you could be unconscious.  You will need help from other individuals to be taken to an emergency room.  Some say it can take 24+ hours to rehydrate after severe dehydration.

Who is at risk of dehydration?

Everyone.  At various points in your life, you’ll become dehydrated in some capacity.  Maybe it’s because you’ve been working out, mowing the grass in the heat of summer, or simply caught a virus like norovirus or rotavirus.  

Children are especially susceptible to dehydration.  Having lost their sensitivity to thirst, older adults often do not feel thirsty.  People with chronic illnesses will find that some medications can increase their likelihood of becoming dehydrated.

NormaLyte Prevents Dehydration

Medical grade electrolytes, called oral rehydration salts (or ORS), prevent dehydration by helping you properly absorb fluids in your body using what is called the sodium glucose cotransport system.  That’s the technical term for the absorption of water using a one to one ratio of sodium to glucose.  Oral rehydration salts will help you maintain hydration levels and are known to prevent the need for supplemental IV therapy by 33%.

Be cautious when you’re using products that boast they are full of electrolytes.  Unless you are using an ORS then you’re not hydrating as effectively.  NormaLyte is considered an ORS using the World Health Organization's perfect formula for oral rehydration.  This is why you’re able to use your FSA/HSA health insurance benefits when purchasing!  If you haven’t tried it, see the difference for yourself and order a free sample.

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