Ileostomy, Oral Rehydration, Electrolytes, etc.

2 min read

Now that my colon has been diverted, I need to make sure that I stay hydrated throughout the day, and particularly after meals. I also have to be wary of electrolyte imbalance, specifically potassium and sodium.

Most ileostomy guides provide recipes for various homemade mixes for people who are not fond of Gatorade or Pedialyte. I have a pretty serious aversion to drinking calories so I was looking for low caloric options too. Costco caries Glacéau Smartwater, but at over a $1 per bottle, it's kinda spendy. Additionally my understanding is that without glucose (sugar), intestinal sodium (salt) is not well absorbed.

Since I had some cranberry juice from before the surgery, I looked for a recipe, and found this:

  • 2 cups of cranberry juice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tsp of salt

Which makes 1 quart of a pretty disgusting watered-down salty concoction. I tried playing around with the amount of juice; It didn't help.

I saw quite a few recipes using OJ, so I started mixing:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 8 tsp sugar
  • 4½ cups water

Basically watered-down fizzy OJ. Next:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 six-ounce can of frozen orange juice

Not bad tasting, quite sweet, and very caloric. I tried halving the juice, not bad either, but hardly my favorite.

Even though I had seen it everywhere, I never tried the World Health Organization Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS):


I figured water + salt + sugar would be pretty bland. How wrong was I?

Turns out that it tastes like soft water, has few calories and is super easy to make:

  • 25.2g sugar
  • 2.1g salt
  • 1 litre of water (about 1 qt)

I prefer grams since I've never seen anyone being to able to get a teaspoon to weigh the same amount twice. I also use pink (Himalayan) salt because I read somewhere that it tasted better, etc. I'm sure sea salt would be fine too.