Kid's Health, Parenting Tips for Kid's Health

How to Prevent the Stomach Flu After Exposure

Reviewed by Lisa Blohm, PhD, MSN, RN

in this article

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite mom tips of all time — how to avoid getting the stomach flu when your family has it! This tip is so easy, simple, and effective, it almost feels like a magic trick. But, this game-changing trick is NOT too good to be true. This tip has saved me from the stomach flu more times than I can count, and today I am sharing it with you!

Best of all, this tip isn’t just for preventing stomach flu. It’s also very helpful for reducing symptoms and speeding up recovery from stomach flu for those who’ve already caught it.

How to Prevent the Stomach Flu

Watch our video where we explain how to keep the stomach flu blues away for good!

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My Secret Remedy for How To Treat The Stomach Flu

Treat as soon as possible! The secret formula? Activated charcoal, lemons, and Nuun tabs. This potent digestive blend roots out the toxins and bad bacteria while providing much-needed electrolytes to a run-down system. Try this recipe as soon as you think you’ve been exposed to best fight off a possible bout of stomach flu.

Read on to learn my specific recipe, why it works, and other practical tips to help your family recover quickly.

Tip: I have created a FREE downloadable PDF for you with my tried-and-true stomach flu remedies!

Early Signs of Stomach Flu and Other Common Symptoms

If you have young kids in school and you hear that the stomach flu is going around, it’s common to get a little panicked. But, worry no more with this information in your back pocket. The key to prevention is attacking at the first warning sign! The earlier you notice the signs, the more likely you’ll be able to prevent or reduce the severity of the flu. 

Here are the warning signs to look out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Chills 
  • Muscle pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain and cramps

When is Stomach Flu Contagious? 

The stomach flu becomes contagious the day before symptoms and remains contagious for a few days after recovery. (The virus can even last in your stools and vomit for up to two weeks after recovery!) That’s why it’s important to stay home and get your rest before going back out in public! 

Natural Stomach Flu Remedies

how to treat stomach flu with activated charcoal drink for kids and adults

We’ve all been there. One family member suddenly feels a little off and, before you know it, they’re throwing up and you’re quickly realizing that it’s only a matter of time before the illness runs through your whole family. As a parent, that means taking care of everyone else before finally getting sick yourself. 

Here’s where I introduce… activated charcoal

I have come to think of activated charcoal as my tried and true treatment for the flu. I would place its success rate at around 98%, and those are odds I’m happy to take when it comes to avoiding rounds of digestive distress.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a potent and porous natural supplement that can be used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body before they are absorbed internally. The porous surface of activated charcoal has a negative electric charge that causes positive charged toxins and gasses to bond to it. It works by trapping bad bacteria, chemicals, and toxins in its millions of tiny pores, bonding with these toxins, and expelling them out of the body.

One of the most popular activated charcoal uses around the globe is in emergency rooms for the treatment of poisoning and drug overdoses. So that gives you an idea of just how powerful and effective this supplement can be! 

Activated charcoal can also prevent hangovers, reduce bloating and gas, aid in bile flow issues, and… prevent or diminish the symptoms of the stomach flu! Activated charcoal also helps with diarrhea and stomach pain or cramps!

How to Prevent Stomach Flu After Exposure

how to get rid of stomach flu remedies with activated charcoal electrolytes and lemons

At the first sign of illness, I start administering activated charcoal to my whole crew. If I can catch the bug before someone is actively throwing up, it often prevents them from getting it all together. If they’re already ill, getting just a little activated charcoal into them makes a huge difference in their recovery. 

How To Treat Stomach Flu In Kids

To administer to children, I empty a capsule of activated charcoal into a cup with a lid and straw. (Because it is very black in color, you’ll want to be extra careful to avoid spills.)

I mix in a squeeze of lemon and a Nuun electrolyte tab for taste. The Nuun tablet also provides hydration and a nutrient punch that’s very helpful for kids, whether they have the flu yet or not. You lose a lot of electrolytes when you’re throwing up and have a fever! 

If you don’t have a Nuun tab or similar electrolyte drink, you can also mix it with juice or just put it right into water! Avoid choosing any drinks that contain sugar, such as soda. Sugar depresses the immune system — right when you need it most!

Get a free printable version of my Activated Charcoal Lemonade, plus other tips to quickly eliminate the stomach flu from your home!

How To Treat Stomach Flu In Adults

For adults, it’s often easier for us to just take the capsules than bother with creating another drink. I recommend taking two capsules every three hours when you feel like you’re fighting the stomach flu or when other family members are actively throwing up. Of course, you’re also welcome to follow the same recipe I do for kids — just double the dose of activated charcoal for adults.

How To Take Activated Charcoal For Stomach Flu

  • Avoid taking activated charcoal if you’re already struggling with constipation. Activated charcoal is constipating, so drink LOTS of extra purified water to stay hydrated. 
  • Avoid taking activated charcoal near meals because the charcoal will bind to the food and therefore your body will absorb fewer nutrients.

How to Get Rid of Stomach Flu Symptoms with Immune Boosters for a Speedy Recovery!

In addition to the activated charcoal, be sure to nourish your system with even more natural stomach flu remedies. I’d recommend giving your family members immune-boosting goodies such as elderberry, probiotics, turmeric, and vitamins C and D! And, of course, make sure everyone is getting good rest!

  • Elderberry is a sweet, delicious, and gentle immune booster. It powerfully supports all immune system functions and increases your natural immune response. 
  • Probiotics replenish the healthy bacteria in your gut. Did you know you owe about 70% of total immune function to the health and balance of the bacteria in your gut? You do!
  • Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory supplement and one of the best herbs for stomach flu prevention and relief. Why? Because it helps to reduce symptoms of nausea and digestive discomfort, and may even assist in fighting off viral infections.
  • Vitamin D gets far too little credit when it comes to powering up the immune system, but this vitamin is actually an enormous help to improving your immune system’s strength and resilience when fighting the stomach bug. 
  • Vitamin C is essential for immune health, so increasing this well-known immune-boosting nutrient when you’re battling a bug is always a great idea.

I recommend checking out our Stomach Flu Bundles that are filled with our tried-and-true products for preventing and treating stomach viruses. 

What to Eat After Stomach Flu

what are the best foods to eat after stomach flu

Whether you’re on your way to recovery or still in the midst of battling the bug, there are some foods that provide vital nourishment while being gentle on the digestive system. While the thought of eating might be the very last thing on your mind, there are a few foods that will help your body stay nourished so that you or your little ones can recover quickly.

  • Warm bone broth and veggie broth are nutrient-dense and easy to digest. It’s a great way to gain a lot of nourishment quickly. 
  • Simple soups filled with tender veggies are another easy way to get a lot of nourishment down in a manner that is gentle on tender tummies. 
  • Toast or plain bread is another long-time favorite moms have been giving to sick kids. It’s gentle on the stomach and can help slow diarrhea — and we all know how comforting carbs can be!
  • White rice and other similarly starchy, low-fiber foods can help firm up your stool and stop the diarrhea that can come along with stomach trouble. Avoid wild or brown rice though, as these are more likely to irritate an already sensitive stomach.

In the same way that there are excellent foods to enjoy during stomach flu, there are also foods to avoid. I recommend that you avoid sugar on the best of days, but during the stomach flu it’s even more important. Sugar and processed foods put a strain on the digestive system and lower your immune response — right when you need it most!  

Foods to avoid after stomach flu:

  • Sugary foods
  • Dairy products
  • Highly acidic foods 
  • Fatty foods (difficult to digest)
  • Spicy foods
  • Caffeine 
  • Alcohol

How to Get Rid of Gas After Stomach Flu 

Activated charcoal is the hero in your home medicine cabinet yet again! After a particularly bad bout with the flu, it’s pretty normal to continue experiencing stomach flu gas and bloating for a few days. But you can get rid of that very easily with some more activated charcoal! Take one capsule with a full glass of water and you should see your gas clear up within an hour or so. 

Rehydrate During and After the Stomach Flu

The stomach flu is very taxing on the body (as you unfortunately know). And the most common effect individuals experience is dehydration due to the loss of nutrients and electrolytes from vomiting and having diarrhea. 

You are dehydrated when you notice that:

  • You’re extra thirsty
  • Your skin and mouth are dry
  • You’re urinating a lot less
  • Your urine is dark
  • You feel dizzy
  • Your eyes and cheeks look sunken in
  • You are fatigued and/or extremely tired

It is essential to continue drinking fluids during sickness. But keep in mind that sipping, not chugging, is the key. Try sipping room temperature water every few minutes to keep up with hydration. But water isn’t enough to stay hydrated during the stomach flu — your body also needs a lot of electrolytes. Add a Nuun tab to water for a healthy electrolyte drink, or squeeze a lemon or lime into water with a pinch of salt for another hydrating option. Be sure to avoid high-sugar electrolyte drinks as that can depress immune system function. 

If you continue to struggle, you can take up to three more capsules. Just make sure you drink an entire glass of water with each — you’ve just had the flu so you’re more likely to be dehydrated. Since charcoal is dehydrating, you need to make sure you keep your fluids up!

So Now You Know — It’s Possible to Avoid Getting Sick with the Stomach Flu!

This Winter, don’t dread the stomach flu! Now you know how to avoid getting the stomach flu when your family has it — and how to cure stomach flu once you already have it!

Grab some activated charcoal and keep it in your cupboard so you’re totally prepared for anything the cold season throws you. (More specifically, NO throwing up and more time to enjoy the Winter months!)

Better yet, strengthen your immune system as a whole and be prepared for stomach flu woes — because you know they’re bound to show up sometime. Our Stomach Flu Bundles contain my favorite products that I’ve mentioned above for preventing and treating stomach viruses. 

Two stomach flu bundles available. Option one has Integrative Medicine Activated Charcoal, Flora Basilica Everyday Nourish 25 Probiotics, and Nuun Immunity. Bundle 2 offers Gryph & Ivyrose Probiotic Chocolate Hearts, Integrative Medicine Activated Charcoal, and Nuun Sport.

Download the FREE PDF – Natural Stomach Flu Remedies That Actually Work

I have created a FREE downloadable PDF for you, combining all of my tips into one easy to reference chart. This PDF also shares my Activated Charcoal Lemonade recipe and some other great tips for ways to put the stomach flu blues behind you! Click here to get your free copy (and feel free to share with any friends and family who need to read this – AKA everyone!)

Meet Becki O’Brien, co-Owner and Creative Director at The Healthy Place. She and her husband, Tim, run this family-owned vitamin and supplement store in Wisconsin. She’s also a mom, photographer, and graphic designer too! With more than a decade of experience in the wellness sphere, Becki is continuing her education by gaining a Functional Herbal Therapeutic Practitioner degree from the School of Wellness. And her Aromatherapy Certificate empowers her with even more expertise in the health and wellness field! But that knowledge isn’t just for herself! Becki and the certified Wellness Consultants at The Healthy Place aim to impact, empower, and educate every single customer — both online and in stores! In fact, they desire to help you have a solid foundation of health and wellness, which includes high-quality supplements, nutritious vitamins, and top-notch products from The Healthy Place. Becki is passionate about helping people make small health changes that have a lifelong impact! You’ll often find Becki homeschooling her four children, eating delicious vegan cuisine, admiring anything pink, or dreaming of Hawaii. Oh, and she’s often chatting with other Moms about healthy living or ​​hanging out at their flagship store. From all-natural products to personalized information, Becki and the certified Wellness Consultants at The Healthy Place want you to feel cared for and confident in your health journey! You can read Becki’s wellness wisdom plus oodles of tips and tricks (from one Mom to another!) on our blog. She also shares her health expertise (and incredible photography skills!) on Instagram @findyour_healthyplace

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