Oral Rehydration Solutions

Have you been having a LOT of diarrhea related to your Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis? Has that much diarrhea led to severe dehydration? If so, your body may benefit from an Oral Rehydration Solution, which can hydrate you faster than  plain water alone and replenish lost electrolytes!

A picture of Danielle holding up a drink that can help diarrhea and a drink that can hurt diarrhea.

What is an Oral Rehydration Solution?

An Oral Rehydration Solution is a simple mixture of water, sugar, and salt in the right combination that’s highly effective in improving hydration status.

Here’s why an oral rehydration solution works:

  • the electrolytes in the beverage replenish what your body lost with loose stool or diarrhea
  • the sodium and glucose inside the beverage will allow water to enter through the intestinal cells through the Sodium Glucose Pumps, therefore hydrating you faster than plain water!
  • (let me know if you’d like a better explanation of these pumps!)

I want to be really clear here though:
For most of us, water is the best hydration solution there is! Therefore, when a healthy, hydrated person drinks an Oral Rehydration Solution they may not feel a difference. It’s when the body starts to experience mild to moderate dehydration that an Oral Rehydration Solution is really important and the difference in hydration can even be felt very quickly!

A big pro-tip is that you don’t want the beverage to have too much sugar because too much sugar will just give you more diarrhea, which defeats the point. Regular  sports drinks and soda are examples of this.

If you’d like to purchase a drink that is already in the right combination of water to salt to glucose ratio, here are some brands to consider:

Pre-Made Oral Rehydration Drinks to Consider:

TRIORAL Oral Rehydration Salts

  • This is what I buy for my husband with Crohn’s off of Amazon because it contains no artificial sweeteners or flavoring agents.
  • This product comes in packets, and you simply empty one entire packet into one liter of water and sip on it!
  • You could add a squeeze of orange, lemon, or lime to this unflavored beverage to add flavor.


  • It’s nice that you can buy this drink pre-mixed and don’t have to worry about mixing anything yourself.
  • I would recommend the Pedialyte Classic Unflavored variety, because it does not contain any artificial sweeteners, dyes, or flavors.

Liquid IV

  • This product comes in fun flavor packets that can be added to water.
  • Please note that this product contains stevia, a sugar substitute. Some people with IBD may be able to tolerate stevia, while others may not.

Oral Rehydration Solution Recipes to Make at Home

You can also make your own Oral Rehydration Solution at home very cheaply and easily with just 3 ingredients. Here are two recipes to try out:

Recipe 1

  • 4 cups water
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 6 tsp sugar

Recipe 2

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup apple juice (not from concentrate)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Want more personalized recommendations?

Still feeling confused around Oral Rehydration Solutions, which products to buy, or what foods to eat? I help my clients implement a highly personalized nutrition plan that brings clarity around which to foods to add that may be beneficial, reduces fear and anxiety around eating, reduces inflammation, and ultimately helps them to get their lives back.

Want to chat more about your specific situation and see if we’re a good fit to work together?

Apply for a complimentary 30-minute virtual consultation!

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