4 Best Morning Drinking Habits for Gut Health

Having a healthy gut microbiome helps control your gut health. Your gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms, some of which are “good for you” and some of which are “bad.” The most important part is that it’s okay to have levels of “bad” bacteria in your gut as long as you have a balance of the good guys. If your microbiome is out of whack, you are at greater risk for disease. An imbalanced microbiome can put you at risk for irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and even colon cancer.

There are things you can do in your daily life to ensure a healthy gut and reduce your risk of these diseases. Some of these changes include watching what you eat and drink. If you feel like you’re at risk, or just want to focus more on your gut health, try starting with a morning routine. We spoke with Jen Bruning, MS, RDN, LDNspokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, on some morning habits to support gut health.

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According to Bruning, water is our primary and best source of hydration. And drinking some water in the morning is a good start to the day.

“We’re dehydrated when we wake up, so hydration in the morning is critical to being able to perform at our best,” says Bruning. “Also, dehydration can cause constipation because fiber needs water to do its job. Drinking water in the morning is a great way to start the day right for our gut and overall health.”

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That’s good news for coffee lovers who need a morning pick-me-up!

“A cup of coffee can help you stay regular,” says Bruning. “And since it’s usually used in the morning, it deserves its place on this list!”

Bruning goes on to suggest that while regular coffee has the most powerful effect, it’s not just the caffeine that supports your digestion: “Caffeinated coffee can also stimulate the body to move the bowels,” Bruning says. “Drinking coffee may even have a beneficial effect on the composition of our gut microbiome.”

However, it is important to note a few things.

“Do not abuse coffee for the sake of intestinal health; but if you regularly enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning without negative consequences, your gut may just thank you for it,” says Bruning.

Also, not all coffee drinkers experience the effects of coffee, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket (or coffee in one cup) for gut health.

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Another way to get your body flowing is to consume fiber.

“Some juices contain a certain amount of fiber, such as prune juices and some tomato-based juices,” explains Bruning. “Fiber mixed with water or juice can help you start your day with a dose of fiber that 90% of Americans are missing.”

Bruning goes on to say that a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber is the key to health and a healthy gut. Soluble fiber can help improve digestion, while insoluble fiber can soften stools, making it the perfect team for a healthy gut.

“If you struggle to get enough fiber throughout the day, as many people do, starting your day with a fiber-rich drink can help meet your needs,” she says.

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Smoothies are a great way to get any fruit you can’t eat throughout the day. It also provides a refreshing and rejuvenating start to the day.

“Use fiber-rich fruits, such as mixed berries, and add ground flax or chia seeds for added nutrients and fiber,” suggests Bruning. “Like juices and supplements, a smoothie can give you the one or two servings of fiber and fluid you need to be efficient.”

Another offer? Add yogurt or kefir and you’ve got a dose of gut-healthy probiotics!

Kayla Garritano

Kayla Garritano is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That! She graduated from Hofstra University with a major in journalism and a double minor in marketing and creative writing. Read more

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