Beat constipation by: Eating 35-50g of fibre daily.

Beat constipation by: Drinking 1.5-2.5l of water daily.

The most common and profound cause and cure for constipation is so simple that most people overlook it. Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration! Your bowel needs water to soften the stool and move it out of the body. Your digestion also uses water as the basis of every digestive fluid including saliva, stomach acid, bile and pancreatic secretions. The protective mucous layer that lines your digestive tract is mostly water. Without enough water (and soft drinks do not count!) your digestive tract goes into ‘crises mode’. You may experience constipation, indigestion, heartburn and possibly ulcers. Stools are dyer, take longer to move through the colon and can even cause blockage in the colon. We trust you are motivated to drink water now!

The best liquid to drink is pure, clean water (to which you can add a squeeze of lemon or lime for its alkalizing and cleansing properties or some mint for its soothing properties). Herbal teas and diluted fruit and vegetable juices are also beneficial. If you drink your water warm or at room temperature it can move straight into the bowels. Cold water is delayed in stomach to heat up first.

How to fit your daily quota in:

We recommend that you drink 500 – 750ml water from the time you wake up in the morning up to half an hour before breakfast. The reason for this is threefold. Firstly, you are at your most dehydrated when you awake in the morning. The water will hydrate and refresh you. Secondly, your body goes through many cleansing processes at night. The water will help you flush any toxins out of your body. Lastly, the easiest way to get all your water in is to start early!

You want to try and drink the rest of your water a half hour before meals or two hours after meals. The reason for this is that drinking water at meals dilutes your digestive juices, making your body work harder to digest your meals. You especially want to avoid drinking any ice-cold beverages during heavy meals. The cold temperature slows down your digestive enzymes. In addition to this, have you seen what your frying pan looks like after the fat has gotten cold? You see white, solid fat in the pan. If this happens in your stomach your body has to work harder to heat up the fat to digest it.

You can increase your daily water quota when you are exercising, on a hot day when you are sweating or when eating a high fibre diet. It is easy to tell when you are drinking enough water, your urine should be almost clear. Dark coloured urine and infrequent urination is a sure sign that your body needs more water.