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Too much fluid in your body can make
it harder for your already-weakened heart to pump. Your doctor may prescribe a diuretic to help get rid of excess fluid. He or she
may also suggest that you limit liquids so that your body can get rid of the
extra water and
Monitoring your fluid intake can reduce
complications and hospitalizations.
All foods that melt (such as
ice cream, gelatin, and flavored ice pops) and foods that contain a lot of
liquid (such as soup) are considered liquids. Be sure to count these in your
Space your liquids throughout the day. Then you won’t
be tempted to drink more than the amount you are allowed.
relieve thirst without taking in extra water, try chewing gum, sucking on hard
candy (sugarless if you are diabetic), or rinsing your mouth with water and
spitting it out.
How can you be sure that you are getting enough fluid?
Your doctor will tell you how much fluid you should be taking in every
day. Recommendations may range from about 1500 mL (1.6 qt) to 2000 mL (2 qt), or about 48 fl oz (1420 mL) to 64 fl oz (1893 mL) a day. Here
are the amounts of fluid in some common equivalent household measures:
Equivalent fluid ounces
Equivalent milliliters (mL)
1 tablespoon of fluid
Â½ fluid ounce
Â½ cup of fluid
4 fluid ounces
About 120 mL
1 cup of fluid
8 fluid ounces
About 250 mL
1 quart of fluid
32 fluid ounces
About 1,000 mL (1 liter)
It is important to know how much fluid your regular
drinking glasses hold. You can find out by filling your drinking glass with
water and then measuring the amount in a measuring cup. After you know this, you
won’t have to measure every time.
Besides water, milk, juices, and
other beverages, some foods contain a lot of fluid. Any foods that will melt
(such as ice cream, gelatin, or flavored ice treats) or foods that have a lot
of liquid (such as soup) should also be measured and counted as part of your
How to keep track of your fluid intake
One method for keeping track of your fluid intake is
to have an empty container that holds the amount of fluid you are allowed for
the day. As you drink fluids, put an equal amount of water into the container
until you reach your fluid limit. When the container is full, you have reached
your fluid limit and should stop drinking.
Another method for
keeping track of your fluid intake is to allow yourself 8 fl oz (1 cup) of fluid at each meal [3 x 8 fl oz = 24 fl oz, or 3 cup]. You can then fill a container with
water to keep in your refrigerator that contains the balance of your fluid
allowance. For example, if you are allowed 48 fl oz (6 cup) of fluid a day, you could have 24 fl oz (3 cup) divided into three meals and then another 24 fl oz (3 cup) in the refrigerator to drink during the day. If you drink other
beverages besides water (such as coffee, juice, or soft drinks), then you would
need to pour out an equal amount of water from your container in the
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC – Cardiology, Electrophysiology Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerGeorge Philippides, MD – Cardiology