A good diet to treat diarrhea should include clear liquids for the first 24 hours before transitioning to simple, thick and bland foods, such as oatmeal, bananas and applesauce, says Everyday Health. Other foods that help are boiled potatoes, toast, pretzels and skinless baked chicken that has no fat.
Certain sports drinks help treat diarrhea because the sugar and salt in them allows the body to absorb water easier, explains Everyday Health. A person can concoct his own sports drink by mixing a teaspoon of salt and a quart of apple juice. A room-temperature drink is more effective than a cold one. Clear broth and water also work well. People with diarrhea should avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and dairy.
After 24 hours pass, people can gradually add rice, toast, crackers, mashed potatoes without butter and other bland foods to their diets, according to Everyday Health. If the diarrhea lasts more than a few days, eliminating certain foods can narrow down which ones might be triggering the diarrhea or making it worse. Diets to treat diarrhea should not include sweet and greasy foods or high-fiber foods such as bran and brown rice. Artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol can also be problematic; diet drinks and sugarless candy contain such sweeteners.