You might think of a water diet as a simple diet for beginners. You can use a water diet for several weeks before trying it for longer. You can drink no liquids during meals or on the first day of each week. You should plan your meals ahead and let your body adapt.
If you’re in a healthy state and not pregnant or breastfeeding, you can start the plan with an 800- to 600-milliliter water dose four to seven times a day for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, after exercise or on a warm, sunny day. Be sure to drink plenty of water, since it may help to reduce diarrhea and constipation.
If you’re having difficulty eating or are dehydrated, try water only when you’re thirsty or during meals. Then you can gradually increase your water intake.
For people with a gastrointestinal disorder such as colitis, vomiting or diarrhea is normal and helpful.
When water is necessary
You might need to drink more water than you would naturally if you had a healthy body, said Dr. George Schlegel, chairman of the division of emergency medicine at Washington University School of Medicine.
“This is called compensatory or recovery drinking,” he said. “When your body is deprived of food and water, its only way to keep functioning is to replenish water. The body uses salt and glycogen to replace the lost fluids.
“When you’re dehydrated, it becomes more difficult to break down glycogen because it’s more concentrated.”
That’s why people with food cravings for salty and sweet foods should always consume a high-sodium diet, Schlegel said.
“With sodium intake in excess of 500 mg/day, diarrhea is normal,” Schlegel said. “If salt intake is greater than 2000 mg/day, diarrhea is usually worse.
“Drinking a large amount of water will help to flush out the toxins you are losing,” he said. And in the recovery group, he said, it’s possible to get off sodium in one or two days, if you’ve been drinking a significant amount for two to three days.
But if dehydration isn’t treated properly, sodium levels often persist for several days and may lead to further dehydration, he said.
The water diet can be helpful in people experiencing diarrhea and vomiting. But to ensure adequate fluid intake you should also maintain regular exercise, Schlegel said. The goal is to be eating all the food you
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