I Have to Drink How Much Water? - Uncover Ostomy
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I Have to Drink How Much Water?

I still can’t explain why and I don’t know when it really started, but I honestly hate water. So much so that the act of drinking plain water actually makes me nauseous. Even as I type this I’m feeling a bit queasy thinking about it.

While my mom, husband, and friends all think I’m crazy (for this and of course, many, many other reasons), I know that I am not alone. Maybe it’s a Crohn’s Disease or an ostomy related thing, but I have heard of others who feel the same way about water as I do. (Really, I have!)

Unfortunately, as someone who is not only just a human being, but someone with an ileostomy, I am required to drink more than a normal person should drink because I don’t have a colon and the colon is where your body absorbs water.

Now you may also be thinking to yourself, “wait Jess – don’t you work out every day? Doesn’t that make you even more dehydrated?”

You would be correct, Sir.

Basically, most of the day I am a walking raisin and if I keep this up, I will be a wrinkly grandma before I reach the ripe ol’ age of 35. Yikes.

Wanting to maintain my youthful look (yes, I still look like I’m 16. I got ID’d buying a lottery ticket last month, thank you!) I know that I have to drink water. Lots of it. Water is good for your skin, your nails, your hair, your eyes, and basically necessary to like, be alive and stuff.

So I did my research on what that really means for me.

While there was a lot of varying information, I went with what I found was recommended by most professionals:

According to my research, the bare minimum water intake for men is 3.7 litres (125 ounces or 15-ish cups) a day and women should aim for 2.7 litres (91 ounces or 11-ish cups).

Ok… that’s not… too much, right?

 Then you have to factor in the exercise.

I read that, while partaking in physical activity, you’ll need an extra 7-10 ounces every 10-20 minutes. My workouts usually last 1-1.5 hours, so that’s about 63 more ounces or 7-ish cups.

Um… alright

Last but not least, I have to factor in my ileostomy. While most of the material I’ve found mostly recommends that you just drink based on what your output is like… (sorry if you’re a non-ostomate and you don’t know what that means, but don’t worry about what it means… trust me), it’s hard to pinpoint a direct number from the research. Knowing my body, and without giving you too much info that no one asked for, let’s assume I need an extra 2 cups of water or 16 ounces per day.

So that brings me to…

160 ounces or 20 cups. Or… 10 pounds.


Almost 10% of my entire body weight!



And it gets worse.

In case you didn’t know, not all liquid is alike. Water is great and water is the lifeline of our biology, but water doesn’t exactly include everything that our body needs. In fact, (especially with ostomies), not only do we need to maintain our water intake, but we also need to maintain our salt and electrolyte intake, as we tend to also lose those pretty fast.

Ever just realllllyy needed a bag of those sea-salt potato chips? There’s a good chance it’s because you’re dehydrated.

So…I don’t like plain water and there’s no way I’m going to drink 10 pounds worth of it and I also need to maintain my salt and electrolyte intake? What am I to do?

*Cue the heavens opening*

I’ve found a solution: Hydralyte.

Hydralyte is, how they refer to themselves, an “oral rehydration solution,” but to me, they were basically a water supplement that didn’t taste like plain water, which I got in the mail to try out for free. Why not, right?


At first go, I was pleasantly surprised about how the products tasted. While they are definitely not as sugary as other sports drinks (that aren’t that effective), they tasted pretty good. I will admit, in some of the products, I could definitely taste the salt, but overall the taste surely beats water.

Over the past couple of months, I mostly used the Hydralyte tabs in my water bottle during my workout at the gym. I hadn’t really noticed a huge difference in how I felt, but I thought, eh, I might as well keep using them. Can’t go wrong with extra electrolytes, amiright? I also really liked the freezies they had, and would often just enjoy them after dinner in front of the TV.


It wasn’t until last week, when I woke up unbelievably weak, tired, and nauseous from dehydration that I realized how effective this stuff could be. I grabbed one of the Hydralyte bottles out of my fridge and began to sip on it (as per the instructions) and within under an hour, I started to feel better.


Yeah, ok so maybe my husband made me drink it, and yes, maybe he was right, and yes, he’s probably smirking to himself that I’m admitting this…

Ranging in uses and flavours, the product (in whatever form you choose), is formulated to contain the right balance of glucose and electrolytes based on the World Health Organization’s criteria to ensure that you are rehydrated as soon as possible.

Hydralyte is not a product just for those with ostomies, but is definitely extra useful for us of the intestine deficient variety. It has ingredients that not only replenish our water loss, but also includes those extra molecules that our bodies really need in a lot of different forms.

As much as I’d love to just constantly eat potato chips all day everyday, I think this is a much better solution.

So, to all my UO friends, Hydralyte has offered every one of you a free sample. Grab a sample on me 🙌 Click here to get your free sample.

Whether you’re an ostomate or not, you are a human and humans need to maintain their water and electrolyte/salt intake. Take care of your body and you’ll take care of yourself.

Enjoy and drink responsibly (at least 90 ounces a day!) 

From time to time, Jessica and the Uncover Ostomy team will share articles that have been sponsored. Jessica and the team only work with brands that they have tried, have liked, believe in and who believe in us. Sponsorship is what keeps Uncover Ostomy functioning, as we do not actively ask for donations, so we appreciate your support!

Jessica Grossman
  • Nikki T
    Posted at 17:25h, 25 August Reply

    Ugh I haaaate water too! Everyone just looks at me like I’m crazy when I say that, but it’s true! I can’t believe how much water we are supposed to consume though… it’s like a fulltime job

  • Zerlina
    Posted at 22:52h, 25 August Reply

    Very true. Intake if liquids with an ostomy keeps up are energy and helps us to feel better. Very good advice.

    One question, are you or Uncover Ostomy being sponsored to promote this drink?

  • Richard A Moeller
    Posted at 12:04h, 29 August Reply

    I just wanted to reach out and talk to someone with the flooding here in Houston we were close to calling for rescue with my ostomy it was scary to think about dealing with it at a rescue center

  • Avinash Mishra
    Posted at 06:28h, 03 December Reply

    “Water is Life”

    Water is quite important for us, not because we can’t live without it. But it helps us in many ways like balancing the ions. Neutralises various Acid and Base. It keeps our abdomen filled so that we could not feel hungry, hence it helps in our weight loss.

    Good post indeed.

  • Ladik Kudlacek
    Posted at 09:43h, 11 February Reply

    This Hydralyte is interesting solution. i do not like plain water. However if it is with carbonated, it is ok for me.

  • Marlina Dsouza
    Posted at 15:01h, 28 February Reply

    How much water one should drink will be always a conspiracy. According to medical you should drink water whenever you feel dehydrated and if you see your urine colour is yellowish colour then its time to drink another glass of water.

    Btw you nicely explained!

  • HumanRemainsTransfer
    Posted at 06:15h, 04 February Reply

    thank you for sharing

  • Shannon L Sample
    Posted at 09:59h, 13 July Reply

    Enjoyed reading this humorous and candid narrative! I’ve had an ileostomy since 2007 and struggle with hydration and electrolyte balance. I found more information in this short article than any other site. Thank you for sharing