3 Hydrating Drinks You Need Whether You Have Constipation or Diarrhea

Imagine it’s a beautiful summer day. The sun is shining, there’s a little breeze to keep you cool, not a cloud in the sky, and you’re… sitting on the toilet.

Yep, another summer day and you’re trapped in the bathroom with diarrhea or constipation.

Summer is for enjoying the outdoors, barbecuing, and sipping a cold drink – not for suffering on the toilet.

But whether you can’t go or can’t stop going, you likely have one issue in common: dehydration.

And more time in the bathroom isn’t the only side effect of dehydration. Being dehydrated impacts every aspect of your life.

At work…

  • You might have a hard time concentrating
  • You might head to the vending machine at 2 PM (when you’re actually thirsty, not hungry!)
  • Your legs might feel restless
  • When you stand up at the end of the day, you might feel dizzy or lightheaded

At home…

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  • You might be too fatigued to play with your kids
  • If you try to workout, you’ll find you get tired more quickly than usual
  • If you make it through that workout, you’ll be sore for days
  • You can sit on the couch all night – not just because you’re tired but because you never need to get up to go to the bathroom
  • You wake up in the night with charley horse cramps

And if you don’t address these signs of dehydration early on, you can experience severe reactions like heat stroke, seizures, and even comas.

If you want to support your body in healing, and feel amazing, you have to get and stay hydrated.

How to Tell If You’re Dehydrated


You may think you’re really well-hydrated if you’re drinking eight, 8 ounce glasses of water a day (that’s what we all learned in school after all!).

But if you’re having regular diarrhea, there is a very good chance you’re dehydrated. And if your stools are hard and difficult to pass, it’s likely dehydration is contributing.

Other signs you may be dehydrated:

  • Dark urine
  • Infrequent urination
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue

While we normally recommend drinking to thirst (meaning drink when you’re thirsty, stop when you’re not), if you’re really struggling with constipation or diarrhea, or you have any of the above signs, you might need to be more intentional about getting hydrated.

But just adding in one (or 7) more glasses of water doesn’t necessarily hydrate and replenish your body. Mark Sisson points out,

“For maximal water absorption, the body requires sodium and glucose/sucrose to facilitate the transport of water through channels in the small intestine.”

That means if you’re trying to get hydrated, you need more than just water.

And if you become dehydrated, your electrolytes may also become imbalanced. Electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and sodium are like a light switch for your body. They carry electrical impulses across your cells and activate hundreds of processes inside the body (things like nerve impulses and muscle contractions).

Your kidneys are responsible for maintaining proper electrolyte balances in the body. However, this system can be thrown off by lots of sweating or diarrhea, for example.

That’s where electrolyte and hydration drinks come in.

They provide some sugar and some sodium to help your body better absorb water and other important electrolytes.

How to Get (and Stay) Hydrated

But not all hydration and electrolyte drinks are equally beneficial. If you just buy something at the store, you’re likely to get electrolytes alongside artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, and more.

Luckily, it is really easy to make your own electrolyte drinks. You probably even have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen right now.

Here Are 3 of My Favorite Recipes:

1 – For basic hydration and constipation


This drink is a great choice for those who are feeling dehydrated, sweat a lot (like if you work outside in a hot climate), or are struggling with constipation.

Two common causes of constipation are being dehydrated and not getting enough salt in your diet (which contributes to dehydration). This recipe helps both! (If you need more tips for overcoming constipation, check this out).

Over in the private Solving Leaky Gut Facebook community, this recipe is a favorite for squelching constipation. Plus, it’s the easiest recipe!


  1. Add 1 pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup or raw honey to 16 ounces of water
  2. Mix thoroughly and drink

2 – For boosting digestion

This is my favorite drink on a hot summer day AND it can help boost your digestion while hydrating you, thanks to the addition of lemon juice and raw apple cider vinegar. (Both create a more acidic environment in the stomach.) If you don’t have adequate stomach acid, you can’t break down and absorb the protein that you eat.

I love to sip on this while I’m preparing dinner to get my digestive juices flowing.

(Need something stronger than this? Read How to Supplement with Betaine HCL.)


  1. Combine in a glass or jar
  1. Mix thoroughly, until honey or maple syrup are dissolved. (If you put this in a mason jar, you can just put the lid on and shake!)
  1. Dilute with water to taste – you can mix this up by the glass or mix it all up in about 48 ounces of water to share with your friends and family

3 – For diarrhea


If you’re dealing with chronic diarrhea, your electrolyte balance can easily be disrupted. If I’ve had a flare of symptoms, I incorporate this drink (and the rest of the advice here).


Dissolve in 16 ounces of water:

You can also add ½ cup of fruit juice to improve the flavor.

Don’t feel like making a drink yourself?

You can also try some coconut water (make sure the one you pick has no added sugar) or Lyte Balance electrolytes.

I hope you enjoy these drinks as much I do. Let me know your favorite electrolyte drink recipes in the comments!


P.S. If you’re still struggling with constipation or diarrhea, even after adding in these drinks, you may need to dig deeper and look at the other clues your body is giving you. You can learn more by registering for our webinar:

Stop Ignoring Your Body: How Subtle Clues are Telling You Exactly What to Do Next…

Here are just a few things we’ll show you on the webinar:

  • How to decode your poop to know exactly what’s broken
  • Why cramping is a dead giveaway and the specific steps you need to follow for relief
  • If gas is normal and what it means if you’re not healing
  • How to quickly come up with THE RIGHT TWEAK to stop nagging symptoms fast, through our “hot seat” tweaking sessions
  • How to understand the subtle clues from your body so deeply that your next steps will become obvious

We even share a quick, at-home test you can try immediately if you’re having stomach pain and our bonus 5-day emergency diet handout detailing the exact foods we eat to relieve symptoms in 5 days (this is something we’ve been testing for years).

Jordan Reasoner

About Jordan Reasoner

Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started HealthyGut.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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12 thoughts on “3 Hydrating Drinks You Need Whether You Have Constipation or Diarrhea

  1. Avatar

    I often feel dried out, even though I drink a lot of water. I pee a lot, and it’s often almost clear. I feel like the water shoots through me. What does this mean?

      • Avatar

        I was recently hospitalized for 3 days after going to the ER for kidney stones. My hemoglobin was 7.5 and now I’m waiting to see a GI doctor. My cortisol level was at a 5 at 8 AM and I’ve been told to see an endocrinologist for possible adrenal fatigue. I’ve lost 36 pounds in a year and my hair is falling out to the point I’m going to have to cut it short. I can hardly manage to get dressed every day and have constant headaches. I don’t recognize myself anymore..inside or out. Could all of this be from a leaky gut?

        • Avatar

          Hi Kathy – it sounds like you’re suffering from adrenal/hormone issues and a leaky gut is part of this.
          Our Solving Leaky Gut program includes a specific protocol for adrenal problems including dietary and lifestyle recommendations as well as a targeted supplement protocol specific to the adrenal system.

          Steve and Jordan’s research has led them to believe that hormones and gut health are closely linked, so the SLG program addresses both hormonal and adrenal conditions.

          The Master program also includes several masterclasses that might be of interest to you specifically including:

          The Gut-Thyroid Connection with Izabella Wentz, PharmD
          The Gut-Hormone Connection – With Dr. Dan Kalish
          The Gut-Metabolism Connection – With Dan Pardi
          We’d highly recommend tuning into one of our webinar, which will help explain the connection as well as show you what you can do to heal: • http://solvingleakygut.com/webinar/live-qva/

  2. Avatar

    Hi there,
    Thanks for all this info. I am absolutely desperate. I was diagnosed with coeliacs in 2008. I tick almost every symptom box for leaky gut – I also have polycystic ovaries. A gluten free diet has not fixed me. I have tried every kind of diet there is out there to try and sort myself out – Paleo – too high fat made me very inflamed – vegetarian, pescatarian – I have been vegan for most of this year and say some initial improvement in the first 3 months (3 months seems to be when things start to go wrong on all diets I’ve followed). the last two weeks I have been incredibly tired and had lower back pain and severe scalp psoriasis – I am constantly bloated and constipated. I am going to take a leap of faith and try a strict SCD diet – crazy how miserable food can make you feel.

    • Avatar

      Hey Kat – I’m sorry to hear how much you’ve been struggling.

      Sometimes when we’re sick we cling to different diets because they feel like the only hope (I know I sure did!) but it sounds like you’ve tried just about everything except listening to your intuition. What does your intuition tell you you need to eat?

      In my experience, any kind of very strict diet (whether SCD or vegan) can work for a period of time – but then people usually crash. Thats because a restrictive diet isn’t helpful long term – for optimal health we need to include as many foods as possible.

      I encourage you to check out our free webinar for our new SLG program here – http://solvingleakygut.com/webinar/internal-leakygut2/ or email us at support@scdlifestyle.com if you need more support

    • Avatar

      Hi Kathleen – if you’re following SCD very strictly, please use honey as it is the only SCD-legal sweetener. If you’re not strictly following SCD and using it more as a template, we think honey or maple syrup work well (and its just a matter of preference)

  3. Avatar

    Wow. Thank you for this article, the timing couldn’t be better! I’ve been struggling with these symptoms for the past several weeks and seems to be getting worse. I’m celiac and suspected gluten contamination but have found no culprit. How many drinks recommended per day to reverse dehydration?

    • Avatar

      You’re welcome Celeste!!

      I’d start with one serving in addition to your normal water intake. You can increase to 2 if you feel like you need more hydration power 😉

      A good sign you’re well hydrated is clear or very pale yellow urine with little or no odor.

    • Avatar

      Hey Bill – great question. Most of these recipes use a very small amount of honey or maple syrup (1 teaspoon). For most people, this small amount is OK to consume. The purpose of this teaspoon of sugar is to increase water absorption in the gut – not to provide a sweet taste. Of course everyone is an individual and as a diabetic you’ll need to work with your doctor to see what a safe amount of sugar to take in for you is.

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