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Is juice good or bad for diarrhea?

Diarrhea can be an uncomfortable and inconvenient condition that most people aim to get rid of as quickly as possible. While resting and staying hydrated are key, many also wonder if drinking juice can help relieve diarrhea or actually makes it worse. This article explores whether various juices are good or bad options when trying to recover from diarrhea.

What Is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery stools that occur more frequently than usual. It’s often accompanied by abdominal cramping, bloating, nausea, and urgency to use the bathroom. Diarrhea is usually caused by:

  • Viral infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Parasitic infections
  • Food poisoning
  • Reactions to medications
  • Chronic conditions like IBS
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Food intolerances like lactose intolerance

Cases of acute diarrhea usually resolve on their own within a few days. It’s important to prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids and reducing activity levels until it passes.

Is Juice Good for Diarrhea?

Drinking juice when you have diarrhea can help you avoid dehydration and replenish lost nutrients. However, not all juices are created equal when it comes to diarrhea relief.

Benefits of Juice

Here are some potential benefits of drinking juice for diarrhea:

  • Hydration – Juice provides fluid and electrolytes to replace what’s lost through diarrhea.
  • Energy – The calories and carbohydrates in juice can help provide energy when appetite is reduced.
  • Nutrients – Juices can supply vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
  • Simple sugars – The sugar in juice is easily absorbed despite diarrhea.
  • Settling the stomach – Some juices may help soothe intestinal discomfort and nausea.

Best Juices for Diarrhea

The best juice options when you have diarrhea include:

  • Cranberry Juice – Helps prevent diarrhea caused by E. coli bacteria.
  • Coconut Water – Packed with electrolytes like potassium to rehydrate.
  • Apple Juice – Contains pectin to soothe the gut and slow diarrhea.
  • Carrot Juice – Rich in potassium and other nutrients for rehydration.
  • Prune Juice – High sorbitol content can help relieve constipation after diarrhea.
  • Grape Juice – Provides hydration and calories without fiber or much fructose.
  • Bone Broth – The nutrients like collagen help heal inflamed intestines.

These juices provide hydration and nutrition without excess fiber or sugars that could worsen diarrhea.

Is Juice Bad for Diarrhea?

While juice can certainly help with diarrhea, some types of juice may actually make diarrhea worse or prolong symptoms. Here are some aspects of juice to be cautious of:

Downsides of Juice

  • High Fiber – Fiber can’t be digested during diarrhea and may worsen symptoms.
  • High Fructose – Fructose exacerbates diarrhea in some people by drawing more water into the intestines.
  • Sorbitol – This sugar alcohol sweetener acts as an osmotic laxative, worsening diarrhea.
  • Caffeine – Found in some juices, caffeine stimulates the gut and can worsen diarrhea.
  • Artificial Sweeteners – Sugar substitutes like aspartame may increase diarrhea in sensitive people.

Worst Juices for Diarrhea

It’s best to avoid the following juices when experiencing diarrhea:

  • Fruit Juice with pulp or seeds – Excess fiber slows digestion.
  • Vegetable Juice – Insoluble fiber can’t be digested properly during diarrhea.
  • Green Juices – Fiber-rich cruciferous veggies may irritate the gut.
  • Pear, Apple, Cherry – High in sorbitol which acts as a laxative.
  • Citrus Juices – The acidity may irritate the intestinal lining.
  • Prune Juice – While good for constipation after diarrhea, it often worsens acute diarrhea.
  • Coffee Drinks – The caffeine stimulates bowel movements.
  • Juice with Artificial Sweeteners – Sugar alcohols and sweeteners can worsen diarrhea in some.

It’s best to avoid these high fiber, caffeine-containing, and artificially sweetened juices until after the diarrhea subsides.

Juice Cleansing with Diarrhea

Some people try juice cleanses or detoxes involving only consuming juice for days at a time. However, this is not recommended if you are currently experiencing diarrhea.

Juice cleanses provide very low fiber and protein. While low fiber allows the intestines to rest during diarrhea, extremely low fiber for several days can actually make constipation worse when you transition back to solid foods.

The lack of protein during a juice cleanse can also leave you feeling fatigued and weak at a time when your body needs all its strength to recover. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid strict juice fasts and cleanses when you already have diarrhea.

Making Juice at Home

Making your own juices at home allows you to control the ingredients and avoid pre-made juices with excessive fiber, sweeteners, and other additives that could worsen diarrhea:

Tips for Making Diarrhea-Friendly Juice

  • Use a centrifugal juicer for low-fiber juice.
  • Include soothing ingredients like ginger, mint, or chamomile.
  • Avoid pulpy, seedy, and fibrous ingredients.
  • Blend instead of juicing if you want vegetable nutrients.
  • Dilute fruit juices with water, coconut water, or herbal tea.
  • Sweeten with a pinch of stevia instead of sugar if needed.
  • Make only enough for one serving at a time.

Recipe Ideas

Here are some juice recipes ideal for diarrhea:

Soothing Celery Juice

  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1-inch knob ginger
  • Dash cayenne pepper (optional)

Hydrating Coconut Water and Pear Juice

  • 1 pear
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tsp honey or stevia (optional)

Anti-Inflammatory Carrot Turmeric Juice

  • 5 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1-inch knob turmeric
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Dash of cinnamon

Feel free to experiment with gentle ingredients to find juice combinations you enjoy and can tolerate well.

The Bottom Line

Drinking the right juices in moderation can help relieve dehydration and provide nutrition during diarrhea. Just keep portions small and avoid juices high in fiber, added sugars, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners that could worsen diarrhea symptoms.

Focus on sipping small amounts of watery, low-fiber juices like cranberry, grape, carrot, or coconut water several times a day. Dilute high-sugar juices with water or herbal tea as needed. Make your own juice using a centrifugal juicer and ingredients that won’t irritate your intestines.

While juice can support you through a bout of diarrhea, severe or prolonged diarrhea requires medical attention. See a doctor if diarrhea lasts more than 2 days or is accompanied by high fever, blood in stool, signs of dehydration, or intense pain.

The Takeaway

Drinking juice is usually fine and even beneficial in cases of mild diarrhea. Stick to low-fiber, unsweetened varieties and avoid fruit juices with excess fructose or sorbitol. Pay attention to your body’s response and discontinue drinking juice if it seems to worsen diarrhea symptoms.

With the right juice choices and careful monitoring of your reaction, juice can help you stay hydrated and get back on your feet faster when diarrhea strikes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is apple juice good for diarrhea?

Apple juice is one of the best juice options for diarrhea as it provides hydration and nutrients while being low in fiber. Its pectin content can help soothe the intestinal tract. Dilute it with water if the sugars worsen diarrhea.

Is orange juice good for diarrhea?

Orange juice is high in beneficial electrolytes like potassium. However, its acidity and fructose content may irritate the gut for some people with diarrhea. Enjoy small diluted amounts or avoid if it worsens symptoms.

Is Gatorade good for diarrhea?

Gatorade can effectively replace fluids and electrolytes lost during diarrhea due to its balanced carbohydrate and electrolyte profile. Avoid the high-sugar regular varieties and stick to lower-sugar G2 or Gatorade Zero options.

Should you drink juice while you have diarrhea?

It’s fine and even beneficial to drink certain juices in moderation during diarrhea to support hydration and nutrition. Focus on low-fiber, low-sugar varieties and avoid juices with caffeine, high fructose, sorbitol, etc. that may worsen diarrhea.

What juice helps with diarrhea?

The best juices for diarrhea include diluted apple, carrot, grape, cranberry, coconut water, and bone broth. Their hydration and nutrients can help relieve diarrhea. Avoid pulpy, acidic, caffeinated, and artificially sweetened juices.

The Bottom Line

When dealing with diarrhea, pay attention to how your body responds to different juices. Small amounts of low-fiber, low-sugar juices like apple, carrot, and coconut water often provide hydration without worsening diarrhea. But juices high in fiber, fructose, sorbitol, and caffeine can make diarrhea persist longer. Make your own gut-friendly juices to help support your body’s recovery.