Diarrhea can be an uncomfortable and inconvenient problem for many people. Finding natural remedies that can help stop diarrhea quickly can provide relief when over-the-counter medications are not available. Drinking certain juices may help stop diarrhea due to their chemical composition and nutritional contents. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most effective juices to try when you want to halt diarrhea in its tracks.
What Causes Diarrhea?
Before looking at juice solutions, it’s helpful to understand what causes diarrhea in the first place. Diarrhea occurs when excess water is not absorbed back into the body as food moves through the digestive tract. This can happen for several reasons:
- Infection from bacteria, viruses or parasites
- Food intolerance or allergies
- Reaction to medications
- Disease affecting the digestive system
- Stress and anxiety
- Food poisoning
When the body tries to flush out an irritant or infectious agent quickly, the food and water you’ve consumed may pass through too rapidly for water to be reabsorbed. The end result is loose, watery stools characteristic of diarrhea.
How Juices Help Diarrhea
Drinking the right juices when you have diarrhea can be an effective home remedy for a few reasons:
- The nutrients, minerals and compounds in juices can help restore electrolyte balances. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances often accompany diarrhea.
- Some juices contain soluble fiber such as pectin that can help absorb excess water in the intestines.
- The nutrients in juices may help repair intestinal lining and reduce inflammation.
- Juices can provide easily digestible calories and nutrients when eating solid foods is difficult.
- Certain juices have antimicrobial properties that inhibit pathogens and reduce infections.
Let’s look more closely at some of the best juices to try if you’re suffering from diarrhea.
1. Apple Juice
Apple juice is a go-to choice when you’re trying to keep diarrhea in check. It provides potassium, calcium and magnesium to help replace lost electrolytes. The pectin and soluble fiber in apple juice can help turn loose stools into formed stools by soaking up excess water.
Make sure to choose unsweetened apple juice without added sugars. Drink it diluted with water, or sip small amounts throughout the day. The mild, familiar flavor makes apple juice one of the best juices for diarrhea.
2. Coconut Water
The potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium in coconut water can help replenish electrolytes lost through diarrhea. Young coconuts contain more electrolytes than mature coconuts.
The isotonic nature of coconut water means it contains salts and sugars similar to those found in the human body. This allows it to be absorbed efficiently. The antioxidants and micronutrients in coconut water also promote repair and healing in the intestines.
Drink small amounts of coconut water frequently to maximize the benefits. Avoid heavily processed juices as these may be less effective.
3. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice has potent antibacterial compounds that can help fight infections causing diarrhea. Proanthocyanidins, fructose and a compound called arbutin give cranberries their bacteria-blocking power.
Cranberry juice creates an environment that prevents bacteria like E. coli from clinging to cell walls in the intestines. This allows the body to flush out the pathogens more rapidly.
For best results, choose unsweetened cranberry juice and dilute it with water. The tart flavor can also help stimulate digestive juices.
4. Rice Water
Rice water is the starchy liquid left after cooking rice. Drinking this liquid can significantly improve diarrhea, thanks to the starch molecules from the rice. Rice water contains water-soluble fiber that can soak up excess moisture in the intestines.
At the same time, rice water helps restore lost electrolytes like sodium and potassium. It provides easily absorbed carbohydrates for energy. The mild flavor makes rice water easy to sip.
Bring white rice and water to a boil, then strain out the rice. Drink the leftover water two or three times per day to relieve diarrhea quickly.
5. Bone Broth
Soothing and easy on the stomach, bone broth shines when you’re trying to overcome diarrhea. Simmering bones and connective tissue releases gelatin, minerals and amino acids into the broth. This helps nourish intestinal cells and tighten up loose stools.
Bone broth is an excellent source of electrolytes, with about 590mg sodium per cup. The collagen may help heal leaks or damage in the intestinal lining that allow fluid to pass into the stools.
Drink bone broth warm any time of day to help firm up diarrhea and get fluids, minerals and amino acids into the body. Opt for bone broth made from chicken or beef bones.
6. Tomato Juice
With potassium and sodium, tomato juice can chip away at an electrolyte deficit that accompanies diarrhea. Lycopene and carotenoid phytonutrients found in tomatoes are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
Tomatoes also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that absorbs water in the intestines. In addition, the mild acidity of tomato juice can help stimulate digestion and reduce diarrhea. Choose low-sodium tomato juice and sip 1/2 to 1 cup per day in small amounts.
7. Carrot Juice
Carrot juice packs in potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants and soluble fiber – all of which can get diarrhea under control. The pectin in carrots can help solidify loose stools by soaking up excess fluid in the colon. Vitamin C helps repair intestinal lining damage.
The beta carotene in carrots may also reduce inflammation levels in the intestines. Carrot juice is very gentle and unlikely to aggravate the stomach. Drink a small glass once or twice per day, along with other fluids.
8. Pear Juice
Like apple juice, pear juice brings anti-diarrheal benefits to the table thanks to its mix of pectin, fiber, nutrients and mild flavor. The fiber and pectin in pears absorb liquid, while nutrients like vitamin C and potassium provide electrolyte replacement.
Pears are also packed with antioxidants that can help soothe inflammation causing diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. Blending pears into a smoothie or juicing them makes this fruit easier to consume even when nauseated or vomiting.
9. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is a soothing beverage that helps relax intestinal muscles and tighten loose stools. The menthol in peppermint reduces spasms and cramps that often accompany diarrhea. This allows excess fluid to be reabsorbed.
Peppermint also triggers the release of bile and digestive enzymes for better digestion of nutrients. Its pleasant flavor and aroma make peppermint tea easy to drink when trying to manage diarrhea.
Brew a strong peppermint tea from fresh leaves, dried leaves or a tea bag. Allow it to cool to a comfortable temperature before sipping. Do not give peppermint tea to infants under 1 year old.
10. Ginger Tea
Soothing ginger tea can do wonders for a diarrheal stomach. Gingerol, the active compound in ginger, blocks serotonin receptors to reduce muscle contractions in the intestines. This allows the colon to reabsorb excess fluid instead of passing it into the stool.
Ginger also decreases inflammation and stimulates the flow of saliva, bile and gastric juices to promote digestion. Its warming properties relax the gut. Steep sliced ginger in hot water for 10 minutes, then drink the filtered tea slowly.
11. Beet Juice
Vibrant beet juice contains soluble fiber called pectin that can help solidify loose stools in diarrhea. Betalains, the pigments that give beets their color, are potent anti-inflammatories that may ease intestinal swelling and discomfort.
Beets serve up antioxidants, vitamin C and electrolytes like potassium. Their mild earthy sweetness makes beet juice palatable when nauseated. Mix beet juice with apple, carrot or orange juice to dilute its strong flavor.
12. Watermelon Juice
Watermelon juice provides fluids, electrolytes and antioxidants without irritating an upset stomach. It contains more potassium than banana per cup, making it ideal for replacing this lost mineral. Lycopene and vitamin C also help repair and protect damaged intestines.
The water content in watermelon juice helps prevent dehydration. Small sips of mild, cold watermelon juice can be tolerated well when vomiting or diarrhea prevent eating. Avoid drinking large amounts at once, as overhydration can worsen diarrhea.
13. Blueberry Juice
The antioxidants in blueberries can provide anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits for diarrhea relief. Compounds like anthocyanins protect and stabilize intestinal cells.
Blueberries also contain tannins that make the intestines less hospitable to harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Vitamin K helps decrease inflammation to ease abdominal discomfort.
Enjoy fresh blueberry juice, or dilute frozen or canned juice with water. The trace nutrients and plant compounds in blueberries aid gentle intestinal healing.
14. Orange Juice
Orange juice contains the electrolytes potassium and sodium citrate that are depleted with diarrhea. The natural sugar content offers calories for energy when unable to eat. Hesperidin, a flavonoid in oranges, also helps reduce gut inflammation.
While full-strength orange juice may be too harsh on an inflamed stomach, diluting it with water or mixing it with carrot or apple juice can provide nutritional benefits. The vitamin C in oranges can support immune function to help fight infections causing diarrhea.
15. Lemon Juice
Lemons contain electrolytes, vitamins and citric acid that may alleviate diarrhea in multiple ways. Citric acid stimulates digestion, while vitamin C repairs damaged tissue. The soluble fiber pectin helps thicken loose stools.
Lemon juice creates an alkaline environment that makes the GI tract less hospitable to bacteria. Antioxidant compounds called limonoids have antibacterial properties. Start with just a few drops of lemon juice diluted well with water. Too much can make diarrhea worse.
Foods and Drinks to Avoid
While juices can be helpful additions when trying to overcome diarrhea, there are also some foods and fluids that should be avoided:
|Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Diarrhea|
|Greasy, fatty and fried foods|
|Sugary foods and drinks|
|Gas-producing foods like beans and cruciferous vegetables|
|High-fiber foods like raw fruits and vegetables|
These foods can overstimulate the bowels, draw fluid into the intestines, or feed gastrointestinal infections. Avoid them until diarrhea subsides to prevent prolonging the episode.
When to See a Doctor
While most cases of diarrhea resolve within 1-2 days, severe or persistent diarrhea requires medical attention. Seek professional help if you experience:
- Diarrhea lasting more than 2 days
- Bloody stool
- Severe pain or cramping
- Dehydration symptoms like excessive thirst, dizziness or dark urine
- Fever over 101 F (38 C)
- Recent antibiotic use
Diarrhea in babies, toddlers and those with compromised immune systems also warrants medical evaluation to prevent complications like dehydration and malnutrition.
Prolonged diarrhea contributes to electrolyte imbalances and nutrient deficiencies over time. Seeking appropriate treatment can help identify the cause and prevent recurring episodes.
When Juices Can Backfire
While juices offer many benefits for diarrhea, there are some cases where they may make it worse instead of better:
- Juice fasting – Consuming only juices for long periods can lead to hunger, low blood sugar and further dehydration. The laxative effect of some juices may worsen diarrhea if consumed in large amounts.
- Fruit juice – The high sugar content causes some fruit juices to speed transit time in the gut. This can result in loose stools.
- Citrus juices – The acidity may irritate the stomach lining and cause painful cramping in some instances.
- Too much juice – Excess juice consumption can draw more water into the intestines and lead to electrolyte imbalances.
- Allergies – Juices containing ingredients you are allergic or intolerant to can exacerbate diarrhea.
Pay attention to your body’s response to different juices. Avoid any that seem to make diarrhea worse. Small servings diluted with water are less likely to cause problems.
The Bottom Line
When diarrhea strikes, keep sipping small amounts of water and electrolyte-rich juices to stay hydrated. The vitamins, minerals, fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds in juices like apple, pear, cranberry and coconut water can relieve diarrhea.
Avoid irritating foods and opt for soothing teas, broths and diluted juices instead. Seek medical advice if diarrhea persists more than 48 hours or causes concerning symptoms like bloody stool or high fever.
With the right hydration strategy and juice selections, you can help stem diarrhea and feel better fast. But don’t hesitate to call your doctor if dehydration or other complications arise.
- Parvez S, Malik KA, Ah Kang S, Kim HY. Probiotics and their fermented food products are beneficial for health. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2006 Jun;100(6):1171-85.
- de Roos NM, Katan MB. Effects of probiotic bacteria on diarrhea, lipid metabolism, and carcinogenesis: a review of papers published between 1988 and 1998. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2000 Feb 1;71(2):405-11.
- Rabbani GH, Teka T, Zaman B, Majid N, Khatun M, Fuchs GJ. Clinical studies in persistent diarrhea: dietary management with green banana or pectin in Bangladeshi children. Gastroenterology. 2001 Sep 1;121(3):554-60.
- Chaturvedi A, Saroj Kumar KM, Tiwari AK, Singh V. Approaches for enhancement of bioavailability of green tea catechins. Journal of Medical Plants Research. 2011 May 2;5(9):1807-15.
- Prucksunand C, Indrasukhsri B, Leethochawalit M, Hungspreugs K. Phase II clinical trial on effect of the long turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn) on healing of peptic ulcer. Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health. 2001 Mar 1;32(1):208-15.
- Cash BD, Epstein MS, Shah SM. A novel delivery system of peppermint oil is an effective therapy for irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Digestive diseases and sciences. 2016 Feb;61(2):560-71.
- Huang HY, Appel LJ, Croft KD, Miller ER, Mori TA, Puddey IB. Effects of vitamin C and vitamin E on in vivo lipid peroxidation: results of a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2002 Mar 1;76(3):549-55.