Nutrition Tips for Diarrhea: What to Eat and Avoid in 2024

Learn what to eat and drink to get immediate relief from diarrhea. Our comprehensive guide is loaded with advice and recommendations from industry professionals.

Nutrition tips for diarrheaDiarrhea patients frequently report feeling less hungry than normal. Even if you have diarrhea, it is critical to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Diarrhea can be caused by the stomach flu, an allergic reaction to a food or component, or other factors. One of the most common symptoms of the stomach flu is diarrhea. When you have diarrhea, knowing what you can and cannot eat is important since certain foods may aggravate your symptoms. Continue reading to learn how to get rid of diarrhea[1] fast without medicine.

What To Eat When You Have Diarrhea

Individuals suffering from diarrhea should consume foods and beverages that will make their stomach feel better and reduce the severity of their symptoms. According to one study,  a bland diet can help prevent diarrhea by absorbing some of the water in the stool. If you have diarrhea, try consuming some of the items listed below:

  • BRAT DIET[2] (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast)
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Mashed-Up Potatoes
  • Eggs

Foods to Eat

Why Is It Important To Watch What You Eat When You Have Diarrhea?

The vast majority of people will, at some point in their life, have diarrhea, as it is an illness that is extremely frequent. Either a bacterial infection or something that upsets the digestive system could be the root cause of this condition. Those who suffer from diarrhea need to be more careful with their diets since they have a greater risk of being dehydrated and losing critical nutrients. You may be worried that eating would make your diarrhea worse, but the opposite is true; a change in food can assist normalize bowel movements and restore health. Research[3] shows that eating a diet that is rich in variety and drinking a lot of water can help with both the reduction of pain and the speeding up of the healing process.

What To Eat When You Have Diarrhea

Diarrhea makes the body more vulnerable to dehydration and nutrient loss, so it’s crucial to be careful about what you eat. What you eat can help determine how to clean your gut[4] to reduce the severity of diarrhea, so here are some ideas:


The B.R.A.T. diet, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, is frequently prescribed for persons suffering from digestive symptoms such as diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome because they are low-fiber, binding foods that aid in stool firmness.

  • Bananas: The BRAT protocol begins with the intake of bananas. Bananas are great for diarrhea since they are bland and easy to digest. Because bananas are strong in potassium, they help restore nutrients lost via chronic diarrhea.
  • Rice: Rice has traditionally been used to alleviate digestive disorders. As with white bread, white rice has carbs that make you feel full, but it is devoid of the whole fiber that aids in waste disposal. Do not add butter, artificial sweeteners, other sauces or seasonings to your rice if you intend to use it to treat diarrhea. The objective is to offer structural support and energy as calories and carbs.
  • Apple Sauce: Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples. The pectin found in fermented apples promotes the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract, which is necessary for proper meal absorption. Potential adverse effects include increased stool volume and decreased intestinal inflammation[5]. Because apple cider vinegar is a natural antibiotic, it may be effective in treating bacterial infections in the intestine.
  • Toast: One or two slices of toast, dipped in sweet applesauce or soup broth, can be soothing to a sensitive digestive system. White bread is low in fiber, which contributes to loose stools, and high in starch.

Low-fiber alternatives that can be employed on the BRAT diet includes white rice, applesauce without the peels, and refined-grain toast. Keep in mind that the BRAT diet is more of a self-care technique than a treatment for vomiting and diarrhea.

Saltine Crackers

Crackers are useful because they frequently contain a lot of salt. When you have diarrhea, eat bland foods to avoid gastrointestinal distress[6] and to facilitate regular bowel movements. Keep some saltine crackers on hand for when you need a quick bite to eat. Eating crackers can help you pass more solid stools if you have diarrhea.

Mashed Potatoes

If you have diarrhea, you should avoid dairy items like butter and milk, but you may create a similar texture by steaming a potato and mashing it with a fork. Potatoes are highly suggested for diarrhea due to their high potassium content and low digestive complexity.


Severe diarrhea causes fluid and electrolyte loss; consequently, the first priority should be hydration and fluid and electrolyte replacement. Reintroduce semi-solid, low-fiber foods like eggs gradually until your bowel movements return to normal. Eggs are a great option because they are among the best protein powders for stomach upset[7]. The protein content of eggs can also help reduce diarrhea symptoms.

What To Drink When You Have Diarrhea

Staying hydrated during diarrhea is essential. Diarrhea-related sickness is most often due to fluid and electrolyte loss. Ensure you get lots of fluids by drinking the following fluids:

Decaffeinated Tea

More than three cups of coffee or tea daily has been linked to gastrointestinal distress. Tapering off over the course of a few days is the best way to avoid withdrawal headaches. Certain laxatives[8] can be found in beverages that claim to be caffeine-free.


A person with diarrhea should drink several glasses of water daily, and another cup after each loose bowel movement. Dehydration can be avoided, and toxins eliminated, by drinking plenty of water.


Diarrhea results in the loss of fluids, salt, and other minerals that aid in the regulation of the body’s fluid balance. Electrolyte-replenishing nutrients can be found in chicken soup. A bowl of warm soup might also help you feel better and settle your stomach.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a great beverage to drink when you have diarrhea due to its high electrolyte content. Studies [9] show that coconut water is just as effective as sports drinks in rehydrating people who have experienced moderate diarrhea and in preventing further electrolyte loss.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks [10] like Gatorade, PowerAde, and Pedialyte are excellent electrolyte replenishment options. Pedialyte is ideal for both children and adults because it has significantly less sugar than standard sports drinks and is available in both liquid and frozen forms.


It is normal to have diarrhea on occasion. To avoid a worsening of diarrhea symptoms, pay close attention to what you eat. Diarrhea patients should drink clear liquids and eat simple, readily digestible foods instead of three large meals. If your diarrhea isn’t chronic or accompanied by additional symptoms, you could try some of the products on this list. If the body has not responded to these therapies after a few days, a doctor visit is necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I eat when I have diarrhea?

Eat simple items such plain rice, boiled potatoes, toast, bananas, and boiling chicken.

What should I drink to stay hydrated if I have diarrhea?

Dehydration from diarrhea can be avoided with proper rehydration. Get enough liquids in the form of water, juice, broth, and electrolyte-rich drinks such as sports drinks and coconut water.

What foods should I avoid when I have diarrhea?

When you have diarrhea, avoid fatty foods, fried foods, sugary foods, and spicy foods. Broccoli, peppers, beans, peas, berries, prunes, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, and corn might produce flatulence.

Can I drink alcohol if I have diarrhea?

No, alcohol irritates the digestive tract. It can make diarrhea symptoms worse.

How long should I follow a diarrhea-friendly diet?

Diarrhea typically lasts 2–4 days. Depending on the cause, follow a diarrhea-friendly diet for 2-3 days.

Can I eat dairy products if I have diarrhea?

Avoid dairy since it worsens diarrhea. Try lactose-free dairy or plain yogurt in tiny amounts.

Can I drink tea or coffee when I have diarrhea?

During diarrhea, caffeine-containing drinks like tea and coffee might irritate the intestines.

Is it safe to eat fruits or vegetables if I have diarrhea?

Yes, low-fiber fruits and vegetables, such as cooked carrots, squash, and peeled apples, are acceptable in case of diarrhea.

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