The BRAT diet helps treat symptoms of diarrhea and an upset stomach. Foods on the diet include bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. These binding foods will help make stools harder and decrease diarrhea. Before moving onto the solid foods in the diet, individuals with vomiting need to begin with liquids. Incorporating beverages in the BRAT diet helps replace lost fluids and may help reduce the possibility of serious complications such as dehydration, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Some beverages, however, such as milk and acidic juices, may cause increased vomiting or diarrhea symptoms.
Drinking clear liquids is important to help replace fluids lost during bouts of diarrhea. Clear beverages included on the BRAT diet include drinks such as water, apple juice and flat, clear sodas. The bland, clear liquids will not cause continued irritation to the stomach and intestines. Tea is also a clear liquid option on the BRAT diet. Drinking large amounts of liquids at one time is not necessary. Frequent, small sips of clears liquids may be enough to help prevent dehydration. Those on the BRAT diet should avoid drinking beverages that are too hot or too cold because of possible irritation to the stomach and intestines.
Electrolyte Replacement Drinks
During episodes of vomiting and diarrhea, an individual loses body fluids and may also lose significant amounts of salt and other electrolytes necessary to sustain healthy cells. Sports drinks and electrolyte drinks formulated for children and sold over-the-counter have a balanced amount of electrolytes to help replace the ones lost during illness. It is best to speak with a physician about the proper amount of oral rehydration beverages needed. Drinking these beverages helps prevent dehydration, but will not stop diarrhea.
Gelatin, Ice Pops and Broth
Liquid-based foods are additional options to help increase fluid intake when on the BRAT diet. Some items people may consider food, but count as beverages include gelatin and clear broth soups, according to MedlinePlus. Additionally, a person with diarrhea may choose to suck on ice pops to increase fluid intake.