Cool Off with Refreshing Low FODMAP Beverages

It's the dog the days of summer, so that means high temperatures and humidity throughout the country, so it's extra important to keep up with your hydration! I've heard many FODMAPPers lament the blandness of plain old water and how hard it is to give up favorite beverages while doing a low FODMAP diet. Though water is an ideal beverage in many ways (no calories, no sugar, widely available, it's natural, makes up more than half of your body!), sometimes we just want a thirst quenching beverage with some flavor!

I think that many people are walking around mildly dehydrated at all times, but adequate fluid intake is critical for our overall health. Some signs of dehydration could include headache, fatigue, dizziness, low blood pressure, thirst, dry mouth, poor urine output, and hard stools. While it's a very common recommendation to drink eight-eight ounce glasses of water daily and it's an easy to remember guideline, there's no research behind this and fluid needs are really individual. A few ways to know if you're getting enough fluid is to follow your thirst; if you're always thirsty you likely need more fluid. At the same time, pay attention to the color of your urine. If it's a pale color, you're likely hydrated enough, but if it's concentrated and dark yellow in color or infrequent, you probably need to step up your fluids! (PS- high dose B vitamins can make your urine yellow so that's not a great test if you're taking those vitamins).

Adequate fluid intake is an important part of managing constipation. One of the main jobs of the colon is to reabsorb fluids, so with a little imagination you can see that if you don't have enough fluid in there, dry, pebbly, difficult to pass stools can result. Also for people suffering with frequent diarrhea, replacing the electrolyte and fluid losses from stools is important to prevent dehydration. So adequate hydration is an important part of IBS treatment, whether you suffer from constipation or diarrhea!

But don't worry, you don't have to drink just boring old water on a low FODMAP diet! There are plenty of beverage options that are low FODMAP and will meet your hydration needs.

I am personally a fan of "infused waters" or (a combination of fruits, herbs, and/or vegetables immersed in cold water) because they are so refreshing and remind me of luxury-- sitting around in a cozy bathrobe after a spa treatment or massage drinking infused water. There are many kinds of infused waters that you can very easily make and keep in your fridge for a few days.

The process of making infused waters is the same for each recipe. Simply fill a water pitcher with 2-3 liters of water and the fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours. Add ice to your glass, pour in the infused water, relax and enjoy! Get creative and make your own with favorite low FODMAP fruits and vegetables!

Lemon, Lime, and Cucumber

4 slices of lemon

4 slices of lime

8 slices cucumber

Cucumber, Orange, and Basil

6 slices cucumber

5 slices orange

Small handful of basil, mashed with mortar and pestle or wooden spoon

Blueberry Orange

1/4 cup blueberries

1 sliced orange

Cucumber, lemon, and mint

2 oranges, sliced

1 lemon, sliced

1/2 cucumber, sliced

Small handful of mint, mashed with mortar and pestle or wooden spoon

Strawberry, basil, and lemon

4-6 strawberries, stems removed and sliced

1/2 lemon sliced

Small handful of basil, mashed with mortar and pestle or wooden spoon

Low FODMAP Homemade iced teas made from tea bags. Brew as usual, then refrigerate until cold and serve over ice. Flavors: white tea, green, peppermint, rooibos, weakly brewed black (brew 1 minute or less)

For those not so inclined to make your own waters or teas, fortunately there other pre-made beverages that also would qualify as Low FODMAP as listed below. While I don't think it's good for your overall health or bowel function to consume beverages with a lot of sugar and weird chemicals, once in a while some treats can be ok as part of an otherwise healthy diet. In general I find that my patients do best with foods with minimal ingredients. Note that carbonated beverages can contribute to gas and bloating in individuals with IBS. Always double check ingredients as manufacturers change ingredients periodically without notice.

  • Kirkland Organic Lemonade

  • Newman's Own Virgin Lemonade and Limeade (consider lemonade and limeade a fruit serving and start with 1/2 cup, increase as tolerated)

  • Califia Cold Brew Mocha Coffee

  • Crystal Light: Flavors Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade, Wild Strawberry

  • Drink Maple Organic Maple Water

  • Fever Tree Ginger Beer

  • Green Valley Organics Kefir: Flavors Plain, Strawberry, Blueberry

  • Lifeway Kefir: Flavors Plain, Strawberry, Blueberry, and Raspberry

  • Hansen's Natural sodas: Flavors Gingerale, Kiwi strawberry, Tangerine lime, Vanilla cream

  • Nestle Splash: Flavors Mandarin orange, Lemon, Kiwi strawberry

  • Stur Water Enhancers: Flavors Coconut Pineapple and Lovely Lemonade Flavors

  • Teas’ Tea: Flavors Unsweetened green, Green and white, Mint green

  • True Lemon Crystallized Lemon

Electrolyte Drinks: Great for the low FODMAP athlete!

  • Stellar Labs Certified low FODMAP electrolyte drink

  • Skratch: lemon lime, orange, strawberry

Protein shakes:

  • Owyn Protein Drinks, (Certified Monash low FODMAP): Flavors Cold Brew, Dark Chocolate, Golden Milk, Smooth Vanilla, Strawberry Banana

  • Ensure Plus: Flavors: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Butter Pecan

Do you have some favorite low FODMAP beverages? Please share in the comments if so! Enjoy the rest of your summer!