You may not have much of an appetite during chemotherapy, but getting plenty of fluids is a must. You need to avoid dehydration, which can exacerbate any nausea you experience. Aim for 8 to 10 cups of caffeine-free fluids per day. Drink slowly and in small amounts at least one hour before or after a meal. And choose cool rather than warm drinks—they’re easier to stomach. If the scent of a beverage triggers nausea, drink from a cup with a lid and use a straw, recommends staff at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Try any of the following:
Take small sips throughout the day. If you’re still feeling nauseated, consider sucking on ice chips or popsicles.
2. Ginger tea
As little as ¼ teaspoon of ginger reduced nausea in chemo patients by 40%, according to a study at the University of Rochester. Aim to consume ¼ to ½ teaspoon of fresh or dry ginger starting three days before you begin your chemo cycle. Add the ginger to your usual tea and let it steep for a few minutes. Keep in mind that ginger ale is artificially flavored, so it may not ease nausea.
3. Sports drinks
They contain electrolytes such as sodium, which helps the body retain fluids. You can also pour the drink into ice cube trays and freeze.
4. Cranberry juice, grape juice or another sweet beverage
Drinks containing sugar calm the stomach better than other liquids, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And although some people swear by clear carbonated soda, others find the bubbles bothersome. If that’s true for you, try letting a glass of regularly sweetened (not diet) soda go flat before sipping.
Tart beverages and foods (such as pickles or candies) can often help settle your stomach, according to staff at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn’t consume tart foods if you have sores in your mouth or throat.