Water helps perform so many functions including regulation of body temperature, transporting of nutrients and oxygen, lubricating joints, just to name a few. Plenty of foods and other liquids contain water, and therefore, also serve as a great source of hydration in addition to just plain water.
It’s probably not new news that we need to adequately hydrate, but we can all benefit from reminders to do so. It’s even more imperative to remember to hydrate while going through chemotherapy treatment, which, in addition to the illness itself, can make you more prone to dehydration. Adequate hydration will help flush wastes and toxins, and therefore, help protect other organs in your body.
Best way to try and combat dehydration is to troubleshoot. You may not feel a thirst sensation so drinking may not be on the forefront of your mind, but if dehydration sets in, it can get challenging and lead to further symptoms. Seek medical attention if you think you may be dehydrated.
Some signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
Fluid needs vary from patient to patient, but 8 cups a day, as a general guideline, is good. Please note caffeinated beverages also count towards meeting hydration needs. Milk, soup, gelatin, popsicles, milkshakes and smoothies, ice chips, watermelon, celery, cantaloupe, etc. are also good ways to hydrate; also, with vomiting and diarrhea, it’s important to replace electrolytes.
Other helpful tips:
- Keep a drink with you at all times; this can serve as a visual reminder to drink.
- Carry a cup with a straw so it’s easy to take sips.
- Experiment with different fruit and/or spices to add some flavor to your water.
- Change up sources of hydration to avoid becoming bored.
- Use frozen fruit for ice cubes and flavor enhancers.
- Freeze your own fruit or fruit juice to add to water and other drinks.
Give our above concoctions a try and report back! The drinks were beautiful, very visually appealing (except the fig, not going to lie) and the fig tasted delicious (if you are looking for a sweet taste). Throwing in citrus and other fruits and spices also adds vitamins, minerals and plenty of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients…so go ahead and drink up!
Wendy Kaplan, MS, RDN, CDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in oncology and weight management in Long Island and in the New York City area. Wendy is the Nutrition Program Director for Mondays at Racine Cancer Care Foundation, a 501c3. Connect with Wendy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and read more of her blog posts and download recipes at Food4HealthRD.com