Restricting fluid intake

If you need to restrict the amount of fluid you drink the following tips may help: (Remember that 1 liter of water weighs 1 kilogram.)

  • Avoid foods that contain a lot of fluid, such as sauces, custard and gravy. Half of a grapefruit contains 70 ml (about 2 ounces) of fluid; two scoops of ice cream contain 80 ml (about 3 ounces) of fluid.
  • Divide your fluid allowance evenly throughout the day.
  • Check which of your pills can be taken with food to avoid having to take them with water.
  • Avoid salty or spicy foods. They make you thirsty.
  • Rather than drinking, suck ice cubes or slices of lemon to quench your thirst.
  • Drink between meals rather than with meals.
  • Use a small cup or glass.
  • Keep a liter/quart jug handy. Start each day with it empty. For every drink you take, pour the equivalent amount of water into the jug. You will then be able to check your fluid intake as the day goes on.
  • It is common to see people carry water bottles with them. Know how much your bottle holds and keep track of how many times you have filled it. Stop drinking when you have reached your fluid limit.
  • Alternatively, record your fluid intake in a small notebook until you get used to working out how much you can drink during the day.
  • If in doubt, check with your dietitian nurse or doctor.

"At first I found it very hard [to restrict my fluid intake], I had to cut down when I realized that I would only be doing myself harm." - Claire Strover, kidney patient

May 1, 2006