Drinking plenty of fluids can speed up the wound healing process.

Whether you are dealing with a surgical wound or one from an animal bite, keeping your body hydrated is critical to effective healing. Without proper hydration, the wound won’t receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs for healing, according to Wound Source. If you make it a priority to drink plenty of fluids every day, your wound will have a better chance of healing faster.

How much water is needed?

The amount of water needed for recovery will depend on your body size. According to Susan Leininger, an advanced practice nurse at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, it is necessary to consume 30 – 35 milligrams of fluid per kilogram of body weight per day.

What are the signs of dehydration?

Thirst is not the only sign of dehydration. It is important to watch out for less obvious signs such as bad breath. John Higgins, MD, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Texas in Houston, told Everyday Health that not producing enough saliva can result in bacteria overgrowth, which can lead to bad breath.

Higgins said it’s also common to have food cravings when you are dehydrated. “It can be difficult for some nutrients and organs like the liver which use water to release some glycogens and other components of your energy stores, so you can actually get cravings for food,” he explained.

How can you increase your fluid intake?

  • Add flavor: Drinking plain old water all the time can get boring. Adding flavor to your water can make it more appealing. For example, you can put a lemon or orange slice in your water glass. If you want to improve the taste even more, put the water in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  • Keep a water bottle with you: When you are busy working at your desk all day or traveling on the road, drinking water often might not be a priority. If you always carry a water bottle, you will have no excuse for not drinking enough water.
  • Hydrate with water-rich foods: Certain foods, such as cucumbers, watermelon and celery, contain a lot of water, so they will keep you hydrated. When you are bored with water, try eating these foods.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.