Staying hydrated is really important. How much water you should drink is actually based on a number of factors such as your health, weight, the local climate and how physically active you are. Drinking too much water can actually flush out the electrolytes which you need to stay hydrated (but you would have to drink an awful lot to do this).
Many people like to add fruit to water, which is fine, but be aware that drinking too much lemon water can actually dehydrate you (because lemon is a natural diuretic). It may also cause other problems such as heartburn and tooth erosion because of its high acid content.
Staying hydrated may be more difficult if you have had part of your intestine removed, especially during the summer months. If you have had your colon (large intestine) removed, you will need to increase your daily salt intake too. It can feel very confusing, so do quiz your IBD team about it if you feel the need – that is what they are there for! If you have a short bowel, high output stoma or a Jpouch, a homemade oral rehydration solution (ORS) will be beneficial when you’re feeling dehydrated. Check out this St. Mark’s PDF which includes the ORS recipe! Those that have their whole digestive system intact can use this recipe.
If you are dehydrated you may experience:
Dry, sticky mouth
Light headedness or feeling dizzy especially when going from sitting to standing
Passing less urine which is dark or strong smelling
Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:
You rarely feel thirsty
Your urine is colourless or light yellow