- Diarrhea and Dehydration
- Fluids to Drink with Diarrhea
- Fluids to Avoid with Diarrhea
- How to Add Solid Foods Back in After Diarrhea
Diarrhea causes the body to lose fluids, leading to dehydration. Although replacing lost fluids is essential to prevent severe effects of dehydration and drinking Sprite may help some people. Sugary drinks, such as Sprite, may not be high up on the list of recommended fluids in case of diarrhea. This is because the high sugar content of Sprite may in fact increase stool frequency by extracting water and salt from inside the cells of the gut lining. The carbonated water in Sprite may also cause flatulence and increase gastric distress. So, in case there is no option but to drink Sprite, it may be a good idea to add some water to it and let the bubbles fizz out before drinking it. Adding a pinch of salt and a dash of lemon to it may also help.
A person can also replace lost fluid with a variety of fluids, such as water, soup, Gatorade, oral rehydration solution (ORS), lemonade or ginger ale. Caffeine can worsen dehydration. Hence, caffeinated drinks should be avoided during diarrhea. Noncaffeinated clear drinks are easy on the stomach when you have stomach upset and they help replenish lost fluids.
What are other fluids you can drink when you have diarrhea?
Patients have to drink water and clear fluids to replenish lost fluids. Drinking at least 8 to 10 cups of fluids a day will help maintain fluid levels. Some of the drinks allowed when you have diarrhea include
- Juices, but avoid prune juice
- Fruit drinks, such as Tang and Gatorade
- Caffeine-free soft drinks, such as ginger ale
- Weak tea or caffeine-free tea or coffee without milk
- Clear soups, such as beef, chicken or vegetable broth
Which drinks should be avoided when you have diarrhea?
Avoid the following fluids when suffering from diarrhea
- Drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, strong tea or colas
- Milk products, such as milk, pudding, ice cream or cream soups
- Nutritional supplements, such as Ensure or Boost (may contain lactose)
Also, avoid drinking extremely hot or cold drinks because it may aggravate diarrhea and cause cramping.
There are certain milk products, which can be taken when a person has diarrhea. The list includes
- Lactose-free milk, such as Lactaid, Lacteeze or soy milk
- Yogurt with low-fat milk (plain, vanilla, cappuccino or peach-flavored)
- Cheese, such as hard cheeses with low-fat milk
- Desserts, such as pudding or custards, that are baked or made with lactose-reduced milk
However, be sure to avoid the following milk products
- Milk such as regular white or chocolate milk
- Yogurt with seeds, such as raspberry or strawberry, or yogurts made with high-fat milk
- Cheese, such as cheese with higher fat cheese or cheese with seeds, such as caraway
- Desserts, such as sherbet, cakes, cookies, ice cream, regular puddings and custard
How to add solid foods back into the diet after diarrhea
Follow these steps to add solid foods back into the diet
- Add low-fiber, low-fat, starchy foods, such as soda crackers, white toast, breadsticks, steamed rice, white potato (no skin) and noodles in broth.
- Add lean meats, poultry or fish cooked without added fats.
- Add low lactose fluids or soft foods, such as Lactaid milk, Lacteeze milk or yogurt, baked custard and lactose-free puddings.
- Add low fiber fruits and vegetables, such as canned mandarin oranges, applesauce and cooked green beans.
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