What Drinks Help Diarrhea?

Reviewed on 6/3/2021

Drinking
Clear liquids, electrolyte drinks, and oral rehydration solutions can help after a bout of diarrhea by replenishing your body with lost fluids and sodium. You can also try drinking Quinton hypertonic water, probiotics, carrot juice, and herbal teas to rehydrate yourself.

When you are suffering from diarrhea or recovering from it, it’s important to rehydrate yourself to replenish the fluids you’ve lost. While most cases of diarrhea clear up after a few days without treatment, they can lead to severe dehydration. Babies and children especially should not be allowed to become dehydrated. 

Drink plenty of fluids and take small but frequent sips until diarrhea subsides. Follow a clear liquid diet and drink an oral rehydration solution (ORS) that contains glucose and sodium.

  • Clear liquids include water, ginger ale, Gatorade, etc., which you can drink for about 12-24 hours after a sudden bout of diarrhea.
  • WIth fluid loss comes electrolyte loss. You can make a homemade electrolyte drink by mixing the following ingredients:
    • ¼ teaspoons salt
    • 8 teaspoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate 
    • 4 cups water
  • For young children, doctors may recommend a rehydration solution, which helps replenish the body with sodium and potassium. These solutions often come in liquid and popsicle-like forms to make them more appealing to children and ensure that the liquid is consumed slowly.

How much should you drink per day?

While most people normally need to drink a minimum of 8 cups of liquid a day, you may need to increase that amount during or after diarrhea. Consume as much fluid as possible, but avoid dehydrating beverages with tons of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, or prunes, all of which can have a laxative effect and make diarrhea worse.

Instead of chugging your drink down at once, take frequent sips or suck on ice chips. Build up to 1 ounce an hour, then 2 ounces an hour, and so on until you can drink normally. 

If the volume and frequency of watery stools are significant and don’t stop after a few days, you should take the necessary steps to avoid serious dehydration. Contact your doctor as soon as possible.

What are natural drinks that may help with diarrhea?

You can also try natural drinks that can help cleanse and regulate your bowels. Examples include:

  • Quinton hypertonic water replenishes the body with minerals and trace elements, which are lost in large quantities during diarrhea. Quinton water is available in organic stores in the form of ampoules. Take 1-3 ampoules a day. However, you should avoid drinking this if you have high blood pressure and are following a no-salt diet
  • Probiotics are particularly beneficial for diarrhea, especially if it’s caused by bacteria. Probiotics help regulate the digestive bacterial environment by replenishing the intestine with good bacteria. Choose only high-quality probiotics sold in pharmacies or organic stores.
  • Carrot juice is a great regulator of the digestive system. It increases your resistance to infections, improves liver function, and cleanses the body. Drink a glass or two of carrot juice a day or more depending on your tolerance. Be careful not to consume too much because it could worsen your diarrhea. Ideally, carrot juice should be made at home using a juice extractor, but you can also buy carrot juice from an organic store.
  • Thyme is known for its anti-infective, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. It helps fight bad bacteria and can relax the muscles in your digestive system. Steep 2 teaspoons of thyme in hot water for 5-10 minutes and drink 3 cups a day. Remember to drink plenty of water in addition to this herbal tea.

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Which medications work best for diarrhea?

Studies have shown that the following common medications may help relieve diarrhea:

  • Imodium (loperamide): Loperamide slows down the speed at which things move through the intestines (bowels). This allows more fluid to be absorbed into the body, which can help to lessen diarrhea and firm up stools. 
  • Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate): Bismuth subsalicylate balances the way fluid moves through the intestines and reduces inflammation. It keeps bacteria and viruses that cause diarrhea from growing in the stomach and intestines.
  • Antibiotics: These are commonly prescribed for bacterial infections and will not help if your diarrhea is caused by a virus. If your symptoms do not improve within a week of taking antibiotics, talk to your doctor.

Don’t use more than one over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication at a time unless your doctor says it’s okay since they may have similar active ingredients and could be too much to take together.

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References
Gastrointestinal Society. Diarrhea and Diet. https://badgut.org/information-centre/health-nutrition/diarrhea-and-diet/

Diet for Diarrhea. https://communitycancercenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Diet-for-Diarrhea.pdf

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