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What Clear Liquids Are Best When One Has a Stomach Virus?

author image Erica Roth
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.
What Clear Liquids Are Best When One Has a Stomach Virus?
Stomach virus. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images


Anyone who has ever had a stomach virus knows that this type of illness can make a person pretty miserable. Nausea, vomiting and possible fever can deplete the body of nutrients and hydration. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases advises people who are suffering from a stomach virus to start eating again gradually. The first step towards regaining strength can be drinking clear liquids. Clear liquids tend to allow the digestive system to settle without irritating the stomach further with additives such as caffeine and alcohol. Determining the best clear liquid to take while in the midst of a stomach virus will depend on the exact symptoms and each person's individual taste.


What Clear Liquids Are Best When One Has a Stomach Virus?
Start hydrating by sipping water. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Water is the purest clear liquid that exists and can help people rehydrate during a bout of stomach flu. Drinking water in small sips rather than large gulps is recommended by the NIDDK. Once a person can tolerate small sips of water without experiencing nausea or vomiting, he can continue drinking larger amounts of water. Sucking on ice chips may be more palatable during periods of extreme nausea.

Oral Rehydration Beverages

What Clear Liquids Are Best When One Has a Stomach Virus?
Rehydration drinks can help stomach viruses. Photo Credit pigphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Oral rehydration drinks are widely available in grocery stores and pharmacies and are a good choice of clear beverage for people who are ill with a stomach viruses. The drinks help restore the natural balance of electrolytes that may be disrupted when a person is vomiting frequently. Though the marketing of oral rehydration liquids is mainly aimed toward the parents of babies and young children, the drinks are perfectly safe for older children and adults to use as well.

Sports Drinks

What Clear Liquids Are Best When One Has a Stomach Virus?
Sports drinks. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If oral rehydration drinks do not appeal, sipping a sports drink can provide many of the same nutrients. Sports drinks are designed to help athletes maintain the optimum balance of electrolytes, as they lose these essential vitamins and minerals as they sweat during a workout. People who suffer from a stomach bug can also replenish their bodies with sports drinks. This type of beverage may not be tolerated as well as water or oral rehydration drinks, due to the increased sugar content. Start slowly with a few sips of a sports drink before progressing to a full glass.

Clear Soft Drinks

What Clear Liquids Are Best When One Has a Stomach Virus?
Glass of clear soda. Photo Credit Hue/amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images

Some people find that they can keep down a clear soft drink, such as a lemon-lime soda, while they are sick. Others may feel worse due to the excess gas that is produced from the carbonation. Clear soft drinks, unlike colas, do not contain caffeine, which is likely to irritate the stomach lining.

Decaffeinated Tea

What Clear Liquids Are Best When One Has a Stomach Virus?
Hot tea. Photo Credit ekapong laksanapiya/iStock/Getty Images

Hot tea is a clear liquid that is safe to drink while in the throes of a stomach virus. Caffeine-free tea is best in order to help the stomach settle. Drink tea without milk, as dairy products are very likely to cause stomach problems when the digestive system is already fragile.

Clear Broth

What Clear Liquids Are Best When One Has a Stomach Virus?
Chicken broth in bowl. Photo Credit zkruger/iStock/Getty Images

Clear chicken or vegetable broth can help calm a sick stomach and provide some nutrition at the same time. Low-fat or fat-free broths are best, as fatty foods and drinks are a common stomach irritant. Once clear soup is tolerated, chicken and vegetables may be added gradually.

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