Does a Liquid Diet Make You Constipated?

A woman is drinking white liquid from a glass.
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The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse indicates that most everyone experiences constipation at some point in there lives. Constipation is often the result of poor diet or hydration. While a liquid diet does not provide you with all the essential nutrients you need, liquid diets are not followed long enough to cause malnutrition or constipation.



According to the National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse, constipation is defined as having bowel movements less than three times each week. If you are constipated, you may find it very difficult to have a bowel movement and your stools are likely to be small, hard and dry. You may feel constantly bloated like you have a full bowel and your bowel movements can cause pain and straining. Constipation is not a disease; it is a symptom -- often of a poor diet.


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Causes of Constipation

Constipation has a variety of causes. A lack of fiber in your diet, leading a sedentary lifestyle, certain medications and consuming too much milk can cause constipation. Having irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal dysfunction, a stroke or being pregnant can also lead to constipation. Taking too many laxatives, and conditions of the colon and rectum, are also associated with constipation. Dehydration is another reason you may experience constipation.


Liquid Diet

A liquid diet is used for individuals who are unable to handle solid foods due to vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and difficulty swallowing. Liquid diets can also be used for preparation or recovery from surgery or a test involving the stomach or bowels. Liquid diets are easily digested and place little strain on your digestive tract. A liquid diet is any food or drink that is in liquid form a room temperature. According to, liquid diets provide hydration and electrolytes when solid food is not a possibility. Foods allowed on a liquid diet include water, clear soda, clear sports drinks, gelatin, ice pops, fruit juice without pulp and coffee or tea without cream or milk.


Liquid Diets and Constipation

According to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, research shows that increased fluid intake cannot relieve constipation. Fluid, on the other hand, can help you avoid dehydration, which can lead to constipation. Liquids help supply the colon with fluid. Fluid adds bulk to your stools, making them softer and easier to pass. As a result, constipation while on a clear liquid diet is highly unlikely.




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