What is the Best Way to Stay Hydrated?

hydration - cook for your life

Many people think water is the only way to stay hydrated, but there are actually other ways to maintain hydration. There is a term called a hydration index, which was used in a study to evaluate how long fluids stay in the body. This study looked at the hydration indices of different fluids in comparison to water. It was found that fat-free milk and whole milk had higher hydration indices than water.  

Further, these fluids stay in the body longer than water does. When water is ingested, the kidneys are stimulated to dispose of the excess water from the body, which allows for the production of urine.  

In contrast, when milk enters the body, the electrolytes (sodium and potassium) allow for the fluids to empty at a slower rate and not stimulate the kidneys as rapidly. Therefore, fluids with electrolytes stay in the body longer than water does, so these fluids keep a person hydrated for a longer period of time. 

These hydration tips are important for cancer patients, especially when combating the side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy, where dehydration can occur from, taste changes, nausea, or diarrhea. Fluids that contain electrolytes such as orange juice, milk, or water infused with sodium and potassium are great beverages to drink. 

Interestingly, fluids are not just obtained from liquids. You can eat your way through your fluid requirement by indulging in fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as watermelon, strawberries, broccoli, cucumbers, celery, and many others.  

Try our Watermelon Salad or Cucumber Water to quench your thirst.  

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society

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