We all know that when it’s hot outside, we sweat more. We can become dehydrated if we do not replace the water we excrete. While it’s necessary to replace fluids lost due to the summer heat, it becomes even more important if you are undergoing cancer treatment because treatment side effects can cause serious dehydration.
How do I know when I am dehydrated?
The first sign that you are dehydrated is simple: thirst. However, there can be other more serious signs to be aware of,
- Dry mouth
- Skin changes: roughness or less elasticity
- Dark yellow or strong-smelling urine
- Higher blood pressure
- Fast heart rate
- Headache, nausea or vomiting
- Light headedness, dizzy, or fainting
Chemotherapy can harm your kidneys and liver if you do not drink enough water. Furthermore, treatment side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting increase fluid loss. In some cases, patients will need to be taken to the emergency room and placed on IV fluid rehydration.
What are some tips to help me drink more water?
You should be drinking about half an ounce to an ounce of water based off every pound you weigh. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs. you should be drinking about 75-150 ounces (about 4.44 L) a day. This number would increase or decrease depending on the climate, how much you exercise and the amount of stress in your life.
Here are some additional tips on how to start consuming more fluids:
Carry a refillable water bottle.
Always have a glass of water on your desk or when watching TV.
Place water on your nightstand to sip on when you wake.
For every glass of soda or coffee, drink 1-2 glasses of water. Even better, try replacing those drinks with water or an electrolyte replacement drink.
Drink water slowly throughout the day. Do not try to chug your body weight in water within one sitting because this can cause another issue called water intoxication.
What about an electrolyte-based drink?
Oral Rehydration solutions can be more effective than water. Drinking too much water might produce an electrolyte imbalance by flushing away vital nutrients and, in extreme cases, cause water intoxication.
Try replacing one of your cups of water with an oral rehydration solution. Oral rehydration solutions contain a healthy dose of electrolytes that replenish what the body loses when it is dehydrated. Electrolytes help to absorb water more efficiently into your cells than water alone. However, it is important to note that not all electrolyte replacement drinks are beneficial. Many contain large amounts of sugar. Cancer treatment can damage the good cells in your gut that are responsible for nutrient absorption. Sugar within a damaged gut can increase fluid loss and exacerbate diarrhea symptoms.
enterade® works differently!
enterade® is a clinically shown, plant-based medical food that helps to manage the GI side effects from cancer treatment like nausea, diarrhea, dehydration, and unwanted weight loss. The unique blend of plant-based amino acids in enterade® works naturally with your gut to help rebuild, protect, and hydrate the cells that have been weakened due to cancer treatment. enterade® is formulated to hydrate better than water alone without the use of sugar.
During a clinical study, 88% of patients who drank enterade® reported an improvement in their dehydration symptoms. *
Feel Better, Fight Harder.
Disclaimer: These are recommendations only. If your symptoms are affecting you, it is important to talk with a medical professional.
Source: *Luque L, Cheuvront SN, Mantz C, Finkelstein SE (2020) Alleviation of Cancer Therapy-Induced Gastrointestinal Toxicity using an Amino Acid Medical Food. Food Nutr J 5: 216. DOI: 10.29011/2575-7091.100116)
Cancer treatment side effect: Dehydration | MD Anderson Cancer Center
Water and Stress Reduction: Sipping Stress Away (webmd.com)
Dehydration and Anxiety: Understanding the Connection (healthline.com)
Drinking plain water is associated with decreased risk of depression and anxiety in adults: Results from a large cross-sectional study – PMC (nih.gov)