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How to Actually Hydrate (Not Just Drinking Water…)

If you have been struggling with constipation for any length of time, chances are that you have been told to “drink more water” at some point. Many of our clients have too.

This is frustrating advice, because likely you feel like you DO drink a lot of water and it’s just going straight through you. You are still constipated!

When clients start the gutTogether program, one of the first things that we have them do is focus on hydration – but with a little twist! Although many of our clients do a great job drinking water, they are still dehydrated and their colon is feeling the effects of it. This is partially because their body is not actually absorbing the water they are drinking.

Enter your perfect hydration beverage for constipation…

Water + Salt + Minerals

Why the salt and mineral additions?

If you are drinking filtered water, the minerals are being filtered out and your body needs these minerals (like magnesium, chloride, potassium, etc) for digestive function!

The extra salt is necessary to draw water to your colon so it can be properly absorbed. This is partially why osmotic laxatives (like Miralax) work. They draw water to your colon, making it easier to pass a bowel movement.

You might need to add salt to your water if:

  • You have hard, pebbly stool
  • You feel thirsty all the time
  • You feel like water goes straight through you and you pee all day long
  • You do not add a lot of salt to the food you eat
  • You drink mostly filtered or bottled water
  • You are struggling with constipation or incomplete bowel movements
  • You have frequent (3+ times daily) diarrhea

When our clients drink water (12-16 oz) + 1/4 tsp of salt in the morning (plus a few drops of added minerals or a scoop of electrolyte powder) they find that they:

  • Stop feeling like they have to pee all day long
  • Have less pebbly stool
  • Have easier to pass bowel movements
  • Quit feeling thirsty all day long

Many of our clients enjoy putting their own spin on this morning hydration drink! Here are some ideas for you to try out if you don’t want to drink straight saltwater:

  • Add a squeezed lemon to your water
  • Add a splash of orange juice
  • Make ice cubes out of the water/salt/minerals mixture and let it dissolve in your drink throughout the day
  • Instead of drinking salted water, add 1/4 tsp of salt to your food throughout the day

Try these ideas out and be sure to tag us on Instagram to let us know how it’s going! We’d love to know what combination you are enjoying!


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Hi, I’m Dr. Heather

Registered dietitian and helps people struggling with bloating, constipation, and IBS find relief from their symptoms and feel excited about food again.

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Dr. Heather Finley
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