Water - Drink Up!

Fresh water is crucial for good health in all respects, but is especially important for keeping your digestive tract functioning properly. In particular, soluble fiber requires plenty of water in order to be effective (remember, soluble fiber works by absorbing liquids in the digestive tract to form a stabilizing gel that relieves and prevents both diarrhea and constipation).

Together, fiber and water maintain gastrointestinal muscle tone, dilute toxic wastes in the GI tract, bind irritants, bring oxygen to the tissues, and help maintain the correct balance of intestinal flora. In general, the more water you drink the better, whether plain or as IBS-friendly herbal teas.

At a bare minimum, make sure you're drinking 64 fluid ounces (eight cups) of water each and every day, and aim for at least twice that amount.

Many Americans are actually chronically dehydrated without ever realizing it, and this is a huge exacerbating factor (and sometimes even the underlying cause) for constipation. If you're on the opposite end of the spectrum and prone to diarrhea, you're at risk of losing too much water from your body too rapidly, and this can then result in dehydration. So no matter what your IBS symptoms, and whether they're flaring or in remission, please drink up!

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