Cancer patients undergoing treatment can experience debilitating side effects, such as dehydration and damage to the gastrointestinal (GI) system – significantly impacting their quality of life and distracting from their ultimate goal: beating cancer. Clinical cancer guidelines recommend maintaining a healthy diet and proper oral hydration to help reduce the chance of developing GI side effects from treatment.

What can cancer patients do to stay hydrated and maintain healthy digestive function?  

Amino acids are the basis of all life processes and the backbone of body proteins. They help build and support the function of the cells, including the transport, absorption, and storage of fluids, electrolytes, and nutrients needed to survive. Amino acids can be obtained from foods we eat and drink or naturally produced in the body.

enterade is a sugar-free, amino acid-based beverage that helps to rebuild the damaged GI absorptive structure and provide total body hydration for cancer patients. There are several reasons why amino acids are a better choice versus glucose (sugar) for patients seeking rehydration during cancer treatment.

1. Sugar Can Be Detrimental to the Body

Glucose in a healthy gut is used to transport nutrients, electrolytes, and fluids into the body. In a damaged gut (patients undergoing cancer treatment), the body cannot properly absorb nutrients and electrolytes that are trying to be transported by glucose. Glucose is an inefficient transporter of electrolytes that are necessary for rehydration, and therefore, a suboptimal option for cancer patients.

In addition, research shows that glucose can actually increase electrolyte and fluid loss as well as contribute to associated health complications, such as diarrhea and dehydration. Glucose also weakens barrier function – allowing for bacteria and toxins to enter the body – causing leaky gut.

2. Amino Acids Are Healthier, More Effective

Instead of using sugar, scientists have found that using select amino acids can provide better nutrient transportation and absorption compared to glucose. Amino acids help facilitate hydration in three areas: the vascular space (blood vessels), interstitial area (the space in between the cells), and the intracellular area (inside the cells) to achieve total body hydration.

In fact, amino acids provide a variety of benefits, including:

  • Provide better nutrient transportation and absorption
  • Facilitate hydration and healthy digestive function
  • Initiate active absorption of electrolytes needed to survive

enterade is an all-natural, sugar-free amino acid beverage that cancer patients can drink to protect the GI by tightening the gut barrier and provide total body hydration. In a recent clinical study, enterade demonstrated superior rehydration compared with sports drinks, which contains sugar and lower electrolyte concentrations. enterade had a better rehydration and electrolyte recovery rate compared to Gatorade, Pedialyte, and water.

3. Lactose Intolerant? No Problem

People who are lactose intolerant can’t properly digest lactose, which is a natural sugar in dairy products. People with lactose intolerance may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, and stomach cramps when they ingest dairy. Contrary to common beliefs, lactose intolerance is not an allergy to lactose or dairy; rather, it means that you are not able to break down or absorb lactose. If you suspect that you may be lactose intolerant, schedule a visit with your healthcare professional.

For those that are lactose intolerant, there are still healthy, all-natural dietary options. In addition to being lactose-free, enterade is vegan and has the essential amino acids and electrolytes that cancer patients need to enhance rehydration.

For cancer patients, side effects can be so intense that the decision is made to modify or stop treatment. When side effects occur, it can be difficult to continue therapy, but it is important to stay on treatment and discuss side effects with a healthcare provider. enterade offers cancer patients a healthy, all-natural solution to maintain a healthy diet and focus on overcoming cancer. Adding enterade to one’s overall diet and treatment regimen can help improve quality of life and allow patients stay on track.