What we drink – or don’t drink – can have a big impact on the health of our gut.
Dietitian Dr Sarah Schenker gives her top hydration tips for sensitive guts:
Drink up: ‘There’s no doubt getting enough fluids is essential for good gut health, with dehydration being a common cause of constipation. You should be aiming for 5 to 7 glasses a day.
It doesn’t have to be water: ‘If you find it hard to drink plain water, be reassured to don’t need to. All fluids (except alcoholic drinks) count towards your intake. Watch your caffeine intake though (see below) and keep an eye on hidden sugars too. Better choices include herbal teas, fruit juice and naturally flavoured water. Why not make your own gut-friendly drink?
What not to drink: ‘Caffeinated drinks, such as tea and coffee, can stimulate gastric acid production while fizzy drinks can add to the gastric acid load. The end result can be heartburn or bloating in people with sensitive guts. It’s best to avoid them (or switch to decaf tea and coffee) if you think they might be a trigger for digestive issues.' If you can’t cut them out completely limit them to one or two cups a day.
Don’t forget your FODMAPs: ‘If you’re following a low FODMAPs diet be sure not to forget about what you’re drinking. Fruit juice, alcohol and drinks containing sweeteners may all contain FODMAPs. ‘
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