Topic: Caffeine during chemo

My wife just started chemo and was told by the oncology nurse to drink half her body weight (120 lbs.) in fluid ounces of liquid.  She is having trouble getting down the 60 fl. oz. of liquid during the day mainly because she does not like water.  She usually drinks ice tea but the nurse told her not to because it has caffeine in it and caffeine is a diuretic.  We didn't question her at the time but it seems to me that a diuretic would also help to get rid of the chemo which was the purpose of drinking the liquids.

Has anyone else been told to quit caffeine drinks during chemo?

Bruce

Please be advised that any advice or information in my posts is my personal opinion only and is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  ALWAYS seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.

Re: Caffeine during chemo

When my husband started chemo, I asked his oncologist whether there was any problem with his having a cup or two of coffee in the morning and he said it would be fine.  Of course, the type of chemo may be relevant.  I would discuss it further the next time you see the doctor but perhaps your wife could find some decaffinated tea that she enjoys in the meantime.

Re: Caffeine during chemo

Re: caffeine is a diuretic

I recall hearing on the news that it's an old myth and that it's not true.

Mayo Clinic nutritionist says the same thing here:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caffei … ks/AN01661

The article below says that caffeine during chemo is fine. In fact, it mentions some research papers that found caffeine *beneficial* during chemo.

Is It Okay to Drink Caffeine With Chemotherapy?
http://www.livestrong.com/article/49716 … motherapy/

Does your wife put sugar in coffee? I would be more concerned about sugar than caffeine. That's just my personal opinion and I'm not a doctor.

Re: Caffeine during chemo

Sounds to me (im not a dr either) that moderation is the key. If your wife were to drink iced tea in the quantities required (large) that sounds like a lot of diuretic which could lead to dehydration. Ive read that Preventing dehydration during chemo is the bigger emphasis (not "getting rid of the chemo" as you mentioned). Many on chemo end up needing to go back for hydration IV INtavenous treatment on a regular basis. I've read too that generally "feeling lousy" after chemo can be lessened considerably by staying hydrated. There's something called water intoxication (too much drinking in too short a period) also... That can throw off electrolytes . Doesn't sound like that will be a problem. Anyway, I'd think they would give the OK for one or two glasses of caffeinated beverages; ask the Dr again.  Best to you and your wife!

Willow

Re: Caffeine during chemo

Thanks for the comments.

Eli, the first article you referenced is by Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic Staff.  The second article references her on the caffeine/diuretic effect connection.  The Zeratsky article answered my question after I did some research on caffein in tea and some simple calculations.

Zeratsky wrote that caffeine has a diuretic effect if you consume large amounts of it - more than 500 to 600 milligrams a day.

Linda, two 8 fl. oz. cups of drip coffee has 290 milligrams of caffeine.

Sixty fl. oz. of iced tea has 353 milligrams of caffeine.

So, both two 8 fl. oz. of coffee or 60 fl. oz. of iced tea are well below the 500 milligram/day limit and should not have a diuretic effect.

Linda, she tried one brand of decaffinated tea and didn't like it.  Since the operation, I've found that she doesn't like a lot of food.

Willow, thanks for the comment on dehydration and the diuretic.  I hadn't thought of that, although the nurse may have mentioned it.

The chemo is GemCis.

My wife puts 1 packet of sugar and 1 pink package of sweetener in a large glass of ice tea.  I'll try and get her to switch to all sweetener.

I'll discuss this with the oncology nurse when we see her tomorrow.  The oncologist never told her to stop drinking ice tea, but if the nurse insists, we'll bring it up with the oncologist.

Thanks again for your comments.  They helped a lot.

Bruce

Please be advised that any advice or information in my posts is my personal opinion only and is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  ALWAYS seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.

Re: Caffeine during chemo

Bruce, I just recalled that my wife drank 2-3 cups of ginger tea when she was on chemo. Especially in the later cycles.

Ginger tea helps with nausea. It also has a soothing effect on the digestive system. Indigestion is often an issue during chemo.

We bought organic ginger tea in bags:
http://www.traditionalmedicinals.com/product/ginger

To prepare, steep one bag in a covered cup for 15 minutes. We added slices of lemon for taste.

Re: Caffeine during chemo

I discovered that my wife makes her ice tea weak, using only 2 Lipton tea bags (55 mg caffeine/tea bag) in 48 fl. oz. of water (18.3 mg/8 fl. oz.), thus only 137.3 mg of caffeine in 60 fl. oz., well below the 500 mg total daily caffeine limit.  The strength is a little more than that found in Nestea Iced Tea (17 mg/8 fl. oz.) and a little less than that found in Snapple Tea (21 mg/8 fl. oz.)

Classic Coke has 34 mg caffeine in 12 fl. oz., or 170 mg in 60 fl. oz.

Bruce

Please be advised that any advice or information in my posts is my personal opinion only and is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  ALWAYS seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.

Re: Caffeine during chemo

Hi,
I drank 2 cup a day black coffee (6 oz,drip coffee like Maxwell, the old fashion kind ) before I felt tired about 6 -12months before I discovered my disease. Then I increased to  4-5 cups per day until the lucky day I discovered  my CCA. To day I drink 1 cup of coffee and 2-3 cups of green tea . I am 63 now.
Anyway, I think 2 cups of coffee is ok. ( not the Starbucks , since they are about double on the mg basis of caffeine  content as compare to the old fashion kind)
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.