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If I take extra fiber, do I need to drink more water during the day?

Answer by:
David Kiefer, MD

Family Medicine, WebMD Medical Expert
University of Arizona, Tucson

Yes. Water helps move high-fiber foods through the digestive system. Drinking plenty of water can also reduce the "gassiness" that some people experience when they increase fiber consumption. Most experts recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. For optimal health, shoot for at least 25 grams of fiber a day. That's about twice as much as most people consume, surveys show. So if you haven't been getting much fiber in your day, gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet over several weeks to avoid digestion problems such as cramps and flatulence.

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