What do I count as fluid?

You will need to account for anything that you drink. Any food that you eat that becomes liquid at room temperature must also be counted.

How do I measure what I drink and eat?

The list below will help you convert the fluids that you are drinking into ounces (oz) and milliliters (mL).

1 tablespoon = ½ oz = 15 mL
¼ cup = 2 oz = 60mL
½ cup = 4 oz = 120mL
¾ cup = 6 oz = 180mL
1 cup = 8 oz = 240mL
12 oz can of soda = 360mL
1 liter = 1000mL
1 quart = 1060mL
4 cups = 32 oz = 1 quart = 945mL
8 cups = 64 oz = 2 quarts = 1920 mL

Water, fruit juices, milk, decaf coffee, decaf tea, herbal decaf tea, or caffeine free sodas are great sources of the fluid that you need. Caffeine and alcohol can have a mild diuretic effect. Limit the alcohol and caffeine in your diet. These drinks should be counted toward your fluid total. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian if you have questions about caffeine.

Fluids in Common Food/Drinks

30 mL (1 ounce):

  • 1 ice cube

80-90 mL (3 ounces):

  • Ice cream sandwich

  • Popsicle

120 mL (1/2 cup or 4 ounces):

  • Fruit juice

  • Ice cream

  • Jello®

  • Sherbet

  • Sorbet

  • Pre-packaged thickened juice

  • Soup with vegetables, rice or pasta

180 mL (3/4 cup or 6 ounces):

  • Italian ice cups

  • Creamed soup

  • Clear broth

210 mL:

  • Watermelon (1 cup diced)

240 mL (1 cup or 8 ounces):

  • Milk, Lactaid®, soy milk, almond milk

  • Kool-aid®

  • Pre-packaged thickened milk

  • High protein milkshake

270-280 mL:

  • Soda with ice

You might find it helpful to write down what you are eating and drinking and keep a running total for the day. Plan out the amount of fluid you will have during the day.

Tips to Control Fluids and Thirst

  • Avoid salty or high sodium foods, these increase your thirst.

  • Spread out fluids over the course of a day.

  • Use smaller cups for drinks.

  • Measure cups, bowls, mugs and glasses to know how much fluid they fit.

  • Instead of adding ice cubes to your favorite drink, make ice cubes out of your favorite drink.

  • Freeze or partially freeze pieces of fruit for a treat between meals to help relieve dry mouth. Try lemon wedges, orange sections, peaches, berries.

  • Try sugar-free chewing gum or hard candies to keep your mouth moist.

  • Rinse your mouth with water, but do not swallow to help with a dry mouth.

  • Do not overheat your home and use a humidifier to increase humidity in the air.

  • Fill up a jug of water with your daily fluid allowance each morning and use this to keep track of how much fluid you are drinking throughout the day. If drinking other fluids e.g. tea, coffee, milk or having foods that contain pour the amount of fluid out of your jug to account for these other fluids/foods.

Who to Call

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions, please contact UW Health at the phone number listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and American Family Children’s Hospital can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.