Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Clear Liquids and Full Liquids

What are clear liquids and full liquids?

If you experience nutritional side effects during your cancer treatment, you will need to consider the different kinds of liquids that you may use for nourishment, to quench your thirst, or settle your stomach. Clear liquids are helpful for many of the side effects of cancer. Generally speaking, clear liquids are liquids that are easy to see through and to pour. A clear liquid diet is not nutritionally adequate and should only be followed for a short period of time to help control symptoms from cancer treatment side effects. If you are experiencing symptoms that will not allow you to consume anything more than clear liquids, talk to your physician or registered dietitian for recommendations. Full liquids have more calories, protein, and nutrients so they can be used to help meet your daily calorie and protein requirements. Full liquids include those that are easy to pour and/or can be sucked through a straw. Some liquids are considered both clear and full.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides the following list of clear liquids:

Full liquids include the following:

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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