Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid When You Have Diarrhea

Diarrhea is the never fun, and the last thing you want to do is eat something to make it worse. So here's a list of the best foods to avoid when you have diarrhea, and the best foods to eat.

So next time you're looking for some relief, remember these tips for a diarrhea-friendly diet. 

Hydration Is Major Key

The more water lost in your stool, the less you have in your body, and the greater your risk for dehydration. Dehydration will only make you feel worse, so drink up.

Stick to water, and/or small amounts of an electrolyte-containing beverages (but be careful with the later—too much of a sugary beverage can make diarrhea worse. Coconut water and maple water are good options).

And although bubbles may sound soothing, carbonation can actually make diarrhea worse, so stick avoid fizzy drinks until you're back up to speed.

Space Out Your Food

When diarrhea is an issue, eating several smaller meals, rather than big ones, is a smart move.

By giving your body more time to digest, you're more likely to be able to handle your digestive load, and avoid making diarrhea worse.

Your Go-To Poo Crew

There are a few foods you should remember are best bets to eat when you have diarrhea.

The BRAT diet is often reccomended to patients with diarrhea, and includes bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, all of which are easy-to-digest. 
It's also important to consume nutritious foods to replace the nutrients your body is not absorbing due to your diarrhea (it kicks the food out of your intestines before it can absorb enough of the good stuff).  Foods rich in potassium (like bananas and potatoes), and foods rich in sodium (ie, anything salty), can help you regain a solid electrolyte balance, which may be off due to diarrhea.

Other diarrhea-friendly foods include oatmeal, cream of wheat, plain breads and pasta, clear broths, jellos, tofu, baked or boiled lean meats and eggs.

If you can't stay away from fruits n' veggies (I feel you), today is a good day to peel them (the skin often contains difficult-to-digest fibers) and/or cook them well to ease their digestive burden.

Easier-to-digest fruits and veggies include romaine lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, bananas, papaya, avocado, and melons.

Otherwise, cook 'em good to avoid making your diarrhea worse.

Things to Avoid: FODMAPs and More

Try to avoid high-fiber foods, and foods high in FODMAPs. FODMAPs are fermentable oli- di- mono-saccharides and polyols, aka a bunch of natural sugars that are hard for you to digest.

For many, high FODMAP foods = gas and diarrhea. So sticking to lower FODMAP foods when you have the runs may be smart move. Basically gluten, lactose (in dairy), sugar alcohols (sweeteners that end in -ol), and many fruits, veggies, and beans, are on the list. For a helpful list of high/low FODMAP foods, check out this resource from Stanford or this one from Harvard

Spicy foods and caffeine can trigger diarrhea, so skip the Sriracha and coffee for now. 

Oh, and by all-means, do not get turnt today. Alcohol, particularly beer, is notorious for causing diarrhea

Fatty foods can also bring on the runs, so avoid anything deep fried or super-rich. Artificial sweeteners can also be an issue, so forgo on diet drinks, foods, gum, and candy until your stool has solidified a bit.

With a few simple tricks and tips, you can eat through your diarrhea safely, and avoid making matters worse.