“Adequate fluid is critical for numerous essential functions, including homeostasis, waste elimination, maintaining perfusion, and thermoregulation, for healing and for general well‐being.”[i] The inability to swallow, however, can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, weakness, and aspiration pneumonia[ii]. In fact, in long term care alone, up to 1/3 of the 1.6 million residents in the U.S. suffer from elderly malnutrition or dehydration.[iii]
Despite the common occurrence of dehydration in patients with dysphagia, there are products that can help ease the burden of both the physiological swallowing process as well as the feelings of embarrassment, isolation, and frustration patients often experience as a result. For example, Thick-It® Clear Advantage® Ready-to-Drink Beverages are ready to enjoy anytime, anywhere – no mixing required – and provide a variety of convenient, flavorful options to aid in hydration, including:
- Clear Advantage® Thickened Water: With no added lemon flavor, enjoy our patented Clear Advantage® Thickened Water chilled or heated, frozen into ice cubes or pops, or blended with your favorite powdered drink mixes and supplements. Learn how to make a nutritious thickened shake in this YouTube video.
- Clear Advantage® Thickened Apple Juice, Cranberry Juice Blend, and Orange Juice Blend: Each of our ready-to-drink thickened juices are made from 100% juice from concentrate with added ingredients (no high fructose corn syrup) and provide 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C in one 8 fluid ounce serving.
- Clear Advantage® Thickened Coffee: Whether you prefer your coffee hot or iced, caffeinated or decaffeinated, our sugar-free thickened coffee is brewed from a premium roast blend and lets you enjoy smooth, rich flavor anytime, anywhere. View heating instructions here.
- Clear Advantage® Thickened Tea: Brewed from premium tea, our decaffeinated tea is ready to enjoy hot, chilled, or over ice. Make it your own by adding a touch of lemon, sugar, or sweetener.
Whichever variety you choose, Thick-It® Clear Advantage® Ready-to-Drink Beverages – which are made with xanthan gum and pure Artesian mineral water – will maintain a stable viscosity over time and remain consistent across a range of temperatures. This gives patients more time to safely consume them and more freedom to customize flavors to their liking while also supporting hydration. Pre-thickened to mildly thick (nectar) or moderately thick (honey) consistencies, they are available in single- and multi-serve resealable bottles and meet International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI)* guidelines.
In addition to drinking more beverages, consuming foods high in liquid content, such as soups, purées, or popsicles, can also aid in deterring dehydration. For more dysphagia diet tips, visit our blog post on maintaining proper nutrition and hydration.
Note: Thick-It® brand ready-to-drink beverages should be refrigerated after opening and used within 14 days. In addition, Thick-It® brand product labels have recently been updated. Formerly known as Thick-It® AquaCareH2O Thickened Beverages, our ready-to-drink beverage packaging may vary depending upon location.
*Thick-It® brand is a gold sponsor of IDDSI.