Staying hydrated is important because water helps move nutrients and toxins through the body, while also regulating the body’s temperature. Dehydration can be a direct side effect of treatment or arise as a result of another side effect, like fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. The care team may be able to treat dehydration from cancer treatments by addressing the associated side effects.
Unless the care team says otherwise, doctors usually recommend about 64 ounces of fluid consumption per day. All liquids contain some fluids—even some frozen foods, like ice creams, sorbets, and milkshakes serve as good sources of fluids. Coffee and tea are also viable options, but caffeinated beverages can be dehydrating, so decaf is a better option. Water is always ideal.
Thirst isn’t always the best indicator of hydration, so it can be helpful to track fluid intake, but the best tactic is to hydrate regularly throughout the day. It is also important to compensate for fever, diarrhea, or vomiting with additional fluid intake.