Q: "Whenever I get a stomach bug, my mum tells me to eat dry crackers and drink flat lemonade. Is this the right thing to do?"Sarah Maloney, via email
A: Advanced Accrediting Practising Dietitian Lisa Yates replies:
“With a bout of vomiting or diarrhoea, you need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium), and keep up your blood glucose levels. Oral rehydration solutions, or even sports drinks, can solve all three during the first few hours. Flat lemonade is as much a comfort food as a fluid, and it’s a good sugar replacement, so it can play a useful role, but it doesn’t contain electrolytes. Salty, dry crackers may also help, but make sure they are low-fat to avoid upsetting your stomach further. Kids may need watered-down lemonade, as the sugar content can be too concentrated for little stomachs. As you recover, keep solid foods simple and bland and use a probiotic supplement to rebalance the bacteria in your gut (especially if you have been taking antibiotics). Yakult drinks, Inner Health Plus tablets and yoghurts such as Vaalia may help.