Umm…Can Water Kefir Make You Poop?
We know you’re wondering but are afraid to ask — can water kefir help keep things moving? Most people experience constipation at some point. Sometimes its caused by other chronic health conditions, and sometimes by medication, but mostly it comes down to what you eat and drink.
While water kefir itself doesn’t contain fiber, it does contain probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that occur naturally within the gastrointestinal tract. Having the right bacteria in the GI tract can help break down stool into more manageable sizes. So while water kefir doesn’t directly cure the constipation, it does help bring things back into balance.
It’s All In The 40 Billion Live Probiotics
Water kefir grains are made up of naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in equal proportions. The balance between the two is what makes it special and healthy. The yeast provides food for the bacteria to grow and the bacteria produce healthy acids that improve our health.
With the modern western diet, it can be a struggle to eat in a way that promotes a balanced gut bacteria population. Our diet has wide ranging impacts on our energy levels, immune system, as well as digestion.
It’s no surprise then to discover that a diverse population of gut bacteria directly impact the quality and frequency of our bowel movements. Luckily for us, water kefir is packed full of naturally occurring gut bacteria. It helps restore balance and promote natural health in our digestive system.
How Probiotics Help With Constipation
We have over 100 trillion bacterium in us at any given time. These bacteria release essential enzymes that help us digest and breakdown our food. When this population of bacteria is suffering, our health can suffer as well. Symptoms can range from bloating, to constipation to irritable bowel syndrome.
Researchers have found that probiotics slow “gut transit time” by 12.4 hours, increasing the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and softening stools – making them easier to pass. In other words, probiotics helped reduced the severity of constipation.
This was particularly true of a bacteria called Bifidobacterium infantis – a friendly bacteria commonly found in lactic acid. It is produced naturally in water kefir.
Why We Need Probiotics
To have a variety of gut bacteria we need to have a varied diet. Unfortunately, our modern western diet is full of sugar and simple carbs. This diet choice is exactly what promotes the bad bacteria over the good.
After long periods of time, our bodies become accustomed to this diet and the healthy bacteria population dies off. Chronic constipation is one of many symptoms.
Once you reach this stage it can be difficult to introduce the healthy bacteria. Your best option is to eat a higher amount of vegetables and fruit and consciously add probiotic rich foods.
Many of us are chronically dehydrated. Drinking fluids is essential to preventing our bowel movements from becoming too hard to pass through our digestive tract easily.
Water keeps the food you eat moving and keeps your intestines smooth and flexible. If you don’t drink enough fluids, your large intestine soaks up water from your food waste – making it difficult to pass the stool.
Water kefir helps both on the dehydration front, as well as providing the probiotic enzymes that help breakdown your stool into manageable sizes
Taking antibiotics for extended periods of time can have adverse effects on our healthy gut population. Most antibiotics are swallowed, killing both the good and the bad bacteria.
This is why it’s recommended to consume fermented foods during and after a round of antibiotics. Drinking water kefir can be extremely helpful.
Does Water Kefir Give You Diarrhea?
Cases where water kefir has caused diarrhea are very rare. However, if you do find yourself with an upset stomach or a loose stool there may be a few reasons why.
1. You drank too much
If you are new to drinking water kefir, you want to ease yourself into it for a few days, especially if you rarely eat fermented foods. Try drinking 1 cup a day until your stomach issues subside. Depending on the condition of your stomach, drinking an entire bottle of water kefir can be a shock to the system.
2. You suddenly are experiencing loose stools
When you drink the water kefir, it introduces over 40 billion strains of live probiotics to your digestive tract which flushes out the bad bacteria and repopulates your gut with good bacteria. Hence the loose stool. Once your gut is repopulated with good bacteria, the loose stool stabilizes and you will begin going more regularly. You will begin to notice less bloating, clearer skin, better immunity and more energy and well being overall.
Water kefir is a powerhouse drink. A little bit each day is all you need to be on the road to better health and if you’re experiencing constipation, taking a daily dose of water kefir over a period of time may help relieve some of the symptoms.