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Do Warm Beverages Help with Kids' Constipation?

Published December 19, 2023

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Among the several strategies to help with a kid’s struggle with constipation, the role of warm beverages as a digestive aid has sparked curiosity in several of our conversations with parents. Does the temperature of our little one’s beverage actually help with constipation relief, or is it just another myth about kid’s constipation? Let's explore this topic further and review some of the current studies about kid’s constipation and what it tells us regarding the benefits of incorporating warm beverages for digestive aid.

Potential Connection Between Warm Beverages and Digestion

While scientific exploration specifically targeting warm beverages and kid’s constipation remains limited, some research studies sheds light on related aspects:

  • Warm Water Therapy as an alternative way to help with constipation. In one study of 25 participants with recurrent constipation, 96% of the group was able to defecate within three days after consuming two cups of water with breakfast daily, consecutively within those three days.

  • Herbal Teas for digestive benefits. Certain herbal teas which are traditionally consumed warm have been linked to digestive benefits. Chamomile,specifically, has been valued in early research studies as a digestive relaxant and has been used to treat various gastrointestinal disturbances including flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting [3].

Warm Beverages Counts Towards Daily Hydration

Dehydration is a common cause of constipation. Staying hydrated can help with stool softening and support pain-free poops. The act of consuming water, regardless of temperature, can support better bowel movements by enhancing a high-fiber diet to increase stool frequency [5]. Maintaining an adequate water intake helps keep stool in the digestive tract moving along and bowel movements regular.

How to Incorporating Warm Beverages For Gut Health

Warm beverages can be incorporated any time during the day to help your kiddos increase their overall hydration. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Caffeine-Free Herbal Teas. Herbal teas, such as chamomile, which may have potential digestive benefits can be incorporated into your little one’s diets in moderation. Opt for teas that are free from caffeine and added sugars, since caffeine is not recommended for kids under the age of 12.

  • Warm Water Infusions. Infusing warm water with citrus fruits like lemon or orange slices or herbs like mint can add a hint of flavor while providing hydration and potential digestive benefits.

  • DIY Hot Cocoa. Combine and mix your choice of milk, cocoa powder, and maple syrup in a saucepan until warm to make your own healthier version of hot cocoa.

Begin Health Expert Tip: To give your beverages an extra gut health boost, try adding in a serving of Growing Up Prebiotics, a prebiotic made specifically for a kid’s microbiome with only two ingredients. It’s tasteless, textureless, and mixes into any warm beverage of your choice to add 3g of prebiotic fiber to your kiddo’s day. Studies have shown that consuming prebiotic fiber can help support a kid's constipation symptoms by creating softer, more frequent poops within six weeks of daily use [2].

Constipation Relief in Kids Requires a Multifaceted Approach

While warm beverages hold some evidence in supporting digestive health, a total holistic approach is key, which includes:

  • Adequate Hydration: Prioritizing adequate hydration, regardless of temperature, plays a pivotal role in maintaining healthy digestion.

  • Dietary Diversity: Encouraging a diverse diet rich in fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics can complement the addition of warm beverages for overall digestive wellness.

Summary: While studies specifically on warm beverages and constipation are limited, the current data shows promising details and reveals that incorporating as a part of a daily hydration plan can contribute to softer poops. Specifically, warm beverages such as herbal teas can offer subtle digestive support. However, severe or persistent constipation will require professional evaluation and tailored interventions.

Overall, a balanced approach that includes adequate hydration, dietary diversity, and potentially incorporating gentle warm beverages, can contribute positively to your kiddo’s digestive comfort and be a part of their strategy for pain-free poops.


[1] Çalişkan N, Bulut H, Konan A. The Effect of Warm Water Intake on Bowel Movements in the Early Postoperative Stage of Patients Having Undergone Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Gastroenterol Nurs. 2016 Sep-Oct;39(5):340-7. doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000181. PMID: 27684632.

[2] Closa-Monasterolo R, Ferré N, Castillejo-DeVillasante G, Luque V, Gispert-Llaurado M, Zaragoza-Jordana M, Theis S, Escribano J. The use of inulin-type fructans improves stool consistency in constipated children. A randomised clinical trial: pilot study. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Aug;68(5):587-594. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1263605. Epub 2016 Dec 8. PMID: 27931142.

[3] Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Rep. 2010 Nov 1;3(6):895-901. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2010.377. PMID: 21132119; PMCID: PMC2995283.

[4] Soputri, Nilawati, & Lado, W. O. (2019). The Effectiveness of Warm Water Therapy for Constipation. Abstract Proceedings International Scholars Conference, 7(1), 475-482.

[5] Anti M, Pignataro G, Armuzzi A, Valenti A, Iascone E, Marmo R, Lamazza A, Pretaroli AR, Pace V, Leo P, Castelli A, Gasbarrini G. Water supplementation enhances the effect of high-fiber diet on stool frequency and laxative consumption in adult patients with functional constipation. Hepatogastroenterology. 1998 May-Jun;45(21):727-32. PMID: 9684123.

May Zhu, RDN

May Zhu, RDN

May is the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and nutrition expert at Begin Health.