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Breast Cancer Self-Care and Recovery: Hydration

Drinking enough water is essential to health. Not drinking enough can result in dehydration which can lead to poor health.We recommend that you drink a minimum of 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water each day.

You must drink more water to balance what you have lost if:

  • You are exercising
  • The weather is hot
  • You are sweating a lot — this includes "hot flashes" and night sweats
  • You have a fever, diarrhea or are vomiting

Your urine should be a pale yellow color and not a concentrated dark yellow.

What encourages hydration and dehydration?


  • Water
  • Herbal teas
  • Nonfat soymilk
  • Diluted fruit juices


  • Alcohol
  • Coffee and decaffeinated coffee
  • Black tea and decaffeinated tea
  • Chocolate
  • High-sodium, or salty, foods
  • Caffeinated sodas

How much is enough?


Drink a minimum of 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day.

Liquid measurements:

  • 1 cup = 8 ounces
  • 2 cups = 1 pint
  • 4 cups = 1 quart
  • 2 pints = 1 quart
  • 4 quarts = 1 gallon
  • 16 cups = 1 gallon

Equivalents of 8 to 10 cups:

  • 64 to 80 ounces
  • 4 to 5 pints
  • 2 to 2.5 quarts
  • .5 to .75 gallon

Breast Cancer Self-Care and Recovery:


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

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