I’ve found that the AC chemo leaves me with a salty taste in my mouth so that not many drinks taste good. Here are a few lessons learned.
Pretty much anything you drink is going to taste gross, and whatever tastes good will taste better on some days than others. Find something that works for that day and stick with it. The fluids are necessary. I’m supposed to be drinking up to 3 quarts/liters per day.
Water mostly tastes disgusting, and because the chemo is changing my pH, it has a different texture to it that doesn’t really work. Drinking plain water ice cold helps. Adding lemon or other citrus helps. Sometimes drinking it with a straw works.
Because lemon lime water works okay, you’d think Sprite/7-Up would, too. Nope. Sodas taste disgusting. This is a good thing, really. I don’t need the sugar or the calories. I don’t drink diet drinks, and try to avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible because they screw with my blood sugar, and mine already tends to run low. That means I can’t vouch for whether diet sodas taste any better than regular ones. My bet is that they don’t.
Tea. I love my tea. Love. I normally have an addiction to Starbucks iced tea, or my Tazo black tea bags. Well, it’s not awful, but it doesn’t taste good, either. I don’t drink coffee, but I’d bet it’s like my plain black tea.Fruit teas have some promise. I have a bunch of different flavors from Teavana that kind of work. I’ll come up with some mixes that others can try.
Ginger is okay with this chemo, but only on its own. I’ve got some really nice Cranberry Ginger Ale that is just sitting right now because the combination isn’t working. Maybe if I mix it with actual cranberry juice…
Alcohol. Because alcohol turns into sugar and it interacts with medications, it’s not high on my list of things to drink. I don’t have to be a complete teetotaler while on chemo treatment, but we’re again in flavor territory. Beer and wine seem okay. Sweet drinks not as much. Ciders are hit or miss.
Cranberry juice. Any woman who’s ever had a bladder infection or other UTI can tell you cranberry juice is a godsend. Cancer kills a lot of cells in your body, and they pass through your kidneys, which can sometimes make them achy. Thank goodness cranberry juice still mostly tastes decent. I’ve been cutting it with Lacroix Cran-Raspberry water and drinking it in a big ol’ Trenta sized Starbucks cup with a straw. On the days that it tastes good. Those 24 ounces are 1/3 of the intake for the day.
Milk works and is a good thing so that you keep up your calcium. I take Vitamin D as well, and that needs the calcium to work. I am hoping this is helping with my white cell counts while I’m on chemo. It certainly helps with acid reflux and other tummy issues. I can almost chug a glass at a time, and it’s still nice with dinner.
Gatorade. This one kind of surprises me. It’s a bottle full of sugar and salts. You’d think that wouldn’t work. Somehow, most days, it does. As long as I stick to the more tart flavors – so those in the “frost” line are working for me. I’ve never been a fan of the punch-like flavors anyway. The other good thing about Gatorade? It mixes well with Miralax, and I need that twice a day now, too.
I’ll be switching to Taxol with biologics at the end of January, and they will bring a whole new set of flavor issues to figure out.