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Fluids

Your health care team may want you to limit the fluids that you drink.

To help you measure and monitor your fluids, follow this conversion chart.

Fluid measurements

2 Tablespoons
2 ounces
4 ounces
8 ounces

=
=
=
=

1 ounce
1/4 cup
1/2 cup
1 cup

=
=
=
=

30 cc
60 cc
120 cc
240 cc

For accuracy, use a glass measuring cup to measure all fluids.

The following are considered fluids. A half cup of any of these items equals a half cup of fluid.

  • milk
  • Jell-O┬«
  • liquor
  • ice cream
  • cream
  • fruit juice
  • sherbet
  • yogurt
  • fruit drink
  • pudding
  • beer
  • soup
  • ice water
  • ice chips
  • carbonated beverages
  • cooked cereal
  • tea
  • watermelon
  • coffee
  • liquid cream substitute

Drain all fruits and vegetables before eating. If not, count the liquid as part of your fluid allowance.

Tip

When you are first learning to limit your fluids, it might be helpful to mark a container with the total amount that you can have in one day.

Then each time you have a fluid, you add that same amount of water to your container. As the day goes on, you can monitor how close you are to your total and make adjustments.

Tips for controlling your fluid intake

  • Measure your fluids and keep a record of how much you actually drink.
  • Measure how much fluid your household cups and glasses actually hold. Do not guess.
  • Plan ahead to spread your fluids throughout the day, allowing enough for medications, meals and snacks.
  • Take the pills you can with your meal-time liquids.
  • Drink from small cups and glasses. Four ounces of juice will look like more in a six ounce glass than it does in a 12-ounce glass.
  • Use ice cubes instead of fluids. Ice may satisfy your thirst more than the same amount of water. Remember that ice must be counted as part of your fluid intake. Melt one cube to measure how much fluid it contains. Ice melts to one half of its original volume. For example, 12 ounces of crushed ice melts to six ounces of fluid. You may also fill your ice cube trays only half full or buy smaller trays.
  • Add a little lemon or lime juice to water or ice. The sour taste will help quench your thirst.
  • Try freezing flavored mineral water or lemonade in ice cube trays, or try freeze pops or Popsicles┬«.
  • Use sour hard candy or gum. They will help moisten your mouth and decrease your desire for liquids.
  • Chill your fruit and vegetable servings to help quench your thirst.
  • Try a mouth spray to moisten your mouth.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water or chilled mouthwash when you are thirsty. (Do not swallow it.)

 

 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 06/01/2007

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts