Mar 11, 2012

Chug, chug, chug! Drinks that help POTS

If you have POTS, chances are your doctor has told you to increase your fluids and maybe they have told you to drink 2-3 liters of fluid a day.

First, let's break down how much you have to drink to get 3 liters a day.  That would be six 500 mL Poland Spring water bottles (the normal size bottles), or about six Red Solo Cups, or just about 3/4 of a 1 gallon plastic milk jug.

Drinking 3 liters a day is no small effort, especially if you don't feel good.  If you broke it down by the hour, you would have to drink 1/4 of that Poland Spring bottle every hour for all 24 hours in the day.  Since you are sleeping part of the time, let's say you are only awake for 16 hours a day.  In that case, you'd have to drink 1/3 of that Poland Spring bottle every hour that you are awake.  When you think about it that way, it is quite doable.

So now that you know how much you have to drink and how often, let's discuss what you are drinking and what you are not drinking.

You probably shouldn't be drinking alcohol, because that can lower your blood pressure.  I'm not saying POTS patients should ever drink any alcohol, but you probably shouldn't make a regular habit of it.

Some of us can tolerate caffeine, and some people with POTS actually feel better when they consume caffeine, but many have to avoid it because it causes even more tachycardia than they already have to deal with.  Caffiene is found in most sodas, coffee and tea, as well as chocolate.

You probably want to avoid sugary drinks like soda and Snapple and fruit juices with added sugars.  Large quantities of refined sugars do all kinds of unhealthy things to your body - triggering inflammation, spiking and then crashing your blood sugar, making you hyperactive and then really tired, etc.  If you have POTS, you should do everything you can to only consume foods and drinks that will be kind to your body and good for your health

Many POTS patients think Gatorade is really good for us.  While it has some electrolytes, it also has loads of sugar - almost the same as drinking soda.  There are low sugar versions of this if you really have to have it.  Personally, I avoid all neon and electric colored foods and drinks.

Coconut water - this can be a little pricey, but it does have good electrolyes, especially potassium, and it usually has less sugar than Gatorade.  If you don't like the taste of plain coconut water, it now comes in flavors like lemon, lime, peach, pineapple, and mango.  You can always mix it with your favorite no-sugar added fruit juice.

Nuun's tablets - these are flavored electrolyte tablets that you can add to water.  I have not tried them, but many POTS patients like them and they come in many different flavors.

Pickle Juice  - not your typical drink, but there is actually a company that sells bottled pickle juice.  This will help you get lots of salt.  You can also drink the juice out of the pickley jar in your fridge, or make your own pickle juice (receipe below).

Decaf green tea - green tea is very good for you.  It has strong antioxidant properties and Dr. Andrew Weil, a reputable holistic physician, recommends that people drink 3 or more cups of green tea a day as part of his recommended anti-inflammatory diet.  To make it even healthier for you, add a small piece of fresh ginger to the hot water or a dash of powdered ginger.  To make a cold sweet green tea, add some honey or agave to the tea when it is hot, and then chill it.

Here are some other POTS friendly drinks to help you get your salt and electrolytes:

CocoBerry Smoothie
Coconut Ice Cubes (coconut water frozen in ice cube trays)
Soy Milk or Regular Milk
Fresh Berries
Splash of Vanilla Extract

POTSie Half and Half
Half Coconut Water (potassium and other electrolytes)
Half Apricot Nectar (lots of potassium, Vitamin C and beta carotene)

POTSie Bloody Mary
Tomato Juice or V8
Pickle Juice
Splash of Lemon
Splash of Soy Sauce
Sprinkle of black pepper
Celery Stick

POTSie Hot Toddy (serve hot in a mug)
Chicken Broth
Splash of Tomato Juice

Fancy Water (serve in a fancy glass pitcher, with fancy crystal clear ice cubes and drink out of a fancy wine glass - it will taste fancy!)
Plain old water
Plain old ice cubes - maybe with frozen fruit or mint inside the ice cube
Add a few slices of one or more of the following to the pitcher and one to garnish your fancy glass:
orange slices
lemon slices
lime slices
cucumber slices
cucumber & mint to great together
edible lavender flowers

Salty Hot Chocolate
Your favorite hot chocolate
Pretzels on the side for more salt

POTSie Margarita
Coconut water ice cubes
Apricot Juice
Fresh Strawberries
Splash of coconut water or seltzer
Splash of Lime
Mix in blender
Wet the rim of a glass with water or the lime, then dip it in salt

Banana Yogurt Smoothie
Yogurt (I like plain greek the best, but any flavor you like will suffice)
Soy or Regular Milk
Pinch of Cinnamon
Pinch of Brown Sugar

Please feel free to add any creative POTSy drink concoctions you have come up with in the comment section below.


  1. LOVE these options !!!!! ThANKS

    the end.

  3. I am so happy to have found your site, I am Dx'd with Dysautonomia, 20 years w/ SX but just diagnosed by accident last FEB during a gyn appt. I have all the above SX ( except syncope)during an attack, deathly ill for a week or more unable to breathe or get out of bed, but do not want to take meds, which a doctor I found this year and went today, a( cardio)wants to prescribe Flourinef, although I am asymptomatic now in the cold up north...Heat is my trigger. Thanks for all the support and info for all of us afflicted.

  4. I drink G2 has less calories and less sugar than the regular and it makes me feel better. I also drink Smart Water because it has electrolytes in it. I love dill pickle juice so I will have to try that! I drink about 6 32oz Gatorades a day and at least 2 33oz bottles of Smart Water. I'm still always thirsty though.

  5. I use pedialyte my nueroligist recommednded it for me and it works great!