What is the Connection Between Nausea and Dehydration?

A human body becomes dehydrated when it loses more fluids than it consumes. Nausea can be a symptom of dehydration, as well as a cause of the condition. Human bodies need water in order to function properly, so dehydration can be a serious problem if it is not addressed quickly.

At birth, babies are about 78% water, the highest percentage during a person’s lifetime. Adult male bodies consist of about 60% water, while adult women are about 55% water. People lose fluids in sweat, bowel movements, and urine. In addition, when people breathe out, they lose moisture in the form of humidified air.

They symptoms of dehydration include nausea, thirst, dry mouth, headaches, and dizziness. If a person is experiencing symptoms of more severe dehydration, such as lethargy, shock, or lack of sweat, he or she should be treated immediately. Severe dehydration, left untreated, can become life threatening.

The reason behind the causal relationship between nausea and dehydration is that people who are nauseated are often simply not interested in drinking fluids. People who have a fever, vomiting, and/or diarrhea can also become dehydrated. Exercising without drinking water regularly can lead to excessive sweating, which can, in turn, lead to dehydration. Burns and uncontrolled diabetes are other causes, and children and the elderly are at higher risk of becoming dehydrated than other age groups.


Nausea and dehydration typically can be fixed easily by drinking water. It is better to drink small amounts of water frequently than to try to drink a lot of fluids at once, since this can induce vomiting, a situation to be avoided when a person is dehydrated. Drinks that include electrolytes, chemicals that help the body function properly, are also an effective method of treating mild dehydration. Individuals should avoid using milk, drinks with a lot of sugar, carbonated drinks, coffee, or fruit juices when treating dehydration, because these drinks can induce diarrhea or vomiting.

Severe dehydration may have to be treated in a hospital. A person who is severely dehydrated will be given fluids that include electrolytes and nutrients intravenously under medical supervision. This is a faster method of treatment and may also be necessary when a person is vomiting and cannot keep fluids down.

Dehydration can usually be prevented. People who are exercising should hydrate beforehand, drink cool water during the exercise period, and continue to drink fluids after the session is over. Adults and children who are sick should be given fluids as soon as possible to prevent dehydration from occurring as the illness progresses.


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Post 5

@feruze-- It probably was the coffee that caused you to become dehydrated.

First of all, one glass of water for three cups of coffee is not enough. Anything with caffeine- coffee and tea especially, is diuretic. What this means is that it causes fluids to leave your body. If you don't have enough water along with caffeinated drinks to replace what you will lose, you will lose quite a bit of your essential body fluid. I think you should have had at least 3-4 glasses of water after three cups of coffee. It's normal for you to become dehydrated and feel nauseated from that.

Did you have food at all? Not having food also makes the dehydration effects

of caffeine worse and it will make nausea worse too. You need to have less caffeine, more water and food too.

If this ever happens again though and you can't get yourself to have water because it makes you throw up, please go to the emergency room. They will give you an IV which will replace lost fluids and stop the nausea. It's the best way to deal with severe dehydration. Dehydration is a very serious health condition and nausea is a symptom that should be a warning sign for you to do something about it.

Post 4

I enjoy having tea and coffee and I realize that coffee can cause dehydration but I also have some water afterward. The other day though, I was really busy at work, preparing for a huge meeting. I didn't have time to eat and had three cups of coffee and a glass of water.

By the time I got home, I was feeling so sick, I started to throw up. I couldn't even have water because that made me sick too. My mom came and made me soup and forced me to have it. Thankfully, I didn't throw up and got better by morning.

Is this all because of coffee and dehydration?

Post 3

I am fasting right now for religious reasons. Ramadan is the Islamic holiday where Muslims do not drink or eat from sunrise to sunset for thirty days. I am on the sixth day now and for the first few days, I had all of the symptoms mentioned here.

Nausea and migraines happen time to time when I am fasting. It actually happens more when I break my fast and have a glass of water and food. Then, I feel very nauseous and have no idea what to do. It has gotten better the last two days because I have started drinking two bottles of natural sparkling water daily which has minerals and electrolytes in it. I also drink water

nonstop until it's time to fast again to make up for what I lose during the day.

I'm doing better now, but it is difficult. I think that I also think more about food than water during this time and I end up filling my stomach with food and there is little space left for water. I am trying to eat less and drink more water so that I can avoid the nausea, otherwise I will get sick.

Post 2

@Cripety -I have to disagree with you. I think that water is the only thing that I can drink when I get dehydrated. I have tried those carbonated flavored waters but it does not quench my thirst like plain old water does.

I also wanted to say that I really didn’t know that there was a connection between dehydration and nausea. The only time that I have felt nauseous is when I go for long periods of time without eating, or I am riding in a car when there is a lot of stop and go traffic and I happen to be reading something.

I do know that eating every couple of hours does keep nausea at bay. This is why many cruise ships offer their passengers food constantly because it keeps them from developing seasickness that leads to nausea.

Post 1

I know that when I become dehydrated I started to develop headaches and even some pain in my lower backside towards my kidneys. This happens to me when I drink too much caffeine and don’t drink enough water. Sometimes my lips will get parched and even peal a little when I am really dehydrated.

I have gotten better about it and keep a big glass of water with me when I drink my coffee. The problem is that I don’t always drink it because I really don’t like the taste of water. I think it just has no flavor.

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