You may have seen the term “thick water” and wondered what it is.
Thick water is an exciting phenomenon that has been on the rise in recent years, thanks to celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, who swear by its health benefits.
In this blog post, we will explore what stagnant water is, what it tastes like and how you can drink it.
What is Thick Water?
When you have difficulty swallowing thin liquids, thick water can be a lifesaver.
By increasing the viscosity of lighter fluids like tap water or juice, you give yourself away to drink without coughing or choking on fluid that you can’t swallow.
Drinking water is difficult for some people to consume, particularly individuals with disabilities.
Pre-thickened beverages are available in stores for these types of customers, and at-home solutions ingredients can be purchased over the counter.
For those people with laryngectomy surgery, it’s essential to avoid fluids that are too thin or have a high sugar content because they’ll cause irritation and dryness in the throat area (called post-laryngectomy sore throats).
What Ingredients are Used to Thicken Water?
Different substances are used to thicken water which can be categorized as:
Starch is a tasteless white powder made from grain that rapidly breaks down in the liquid.
When mixed with drinks, starch-based thickeners can be consumed easily, but only if they’re finished as soon as you mix them.
Once left to sit for too long, starch-thickened beverages become chunky, and they can be hard to swallow.
Gum thickeners are the ingredients used to thicken water with artificial additives.
They are typically made from vegetable oils or animal fats.
Some of them may be high in cholesterol and sugar content, such as gum arabic, xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan, and sodium alginate.
As you look for the best water thickeners, your loved one’s preferences and tastes should be considered.
You might need to experiment with multiple types of products before finding one that meets their needs.
What Does Thick Water Taste Like?
You can hardly taste the difference between thickened water and regular tap or bottled water, but it feels noticeably stickier.
Many people compare the viscosity of thickened water to the texture of honey.
Thickened water can be consumed and swallowed without difficulty due to its consistency being more chunky than liquid (think pudding).
This is a good thing for people who have difficulty swallowing thick liquids.
Regarding the taste of water, there is no significant difference between regular tap or bottled water and this type of drink.
Many people think that thicker water tastes different due to how it feels in your mouth rather than any real sense you can taste with your tongue.
Additives can make it difficult for some people to drink the new and thicker fluids, so many recommend starting with smaller glasses.
It can help add lemon juice, strawberries, bananas, or other fruit flavorings to your water for a little extra taste.
How to Make Thick Water?
Thickening liquid and food can help a patient with dysphagia eat their foods like mashed potatoes or soup.
People on the go who need fluids to stay in their mouth a little longer before being swallowed have something called “thickening powder,” which you can find at most pharmacies, grocery stores, and even Walgreens.
Clear DysphagiAide® Instant Beverage and Food Thickener Powder is a clear instant beverage thickening powder that helps thicken liquids like milk or water.
The mixture will last for 24 hours in the fridge after mixing it with an equal amount of liquid – so you can make up to three servings at once if needed.
One serving contains 12 grams of protein as well, which is excellent for those looking to build muscle mass.
It also has no sugar or artificial ingredients for people who are working on their nutrition plan.
Follow the instructions on the back of the package and then mix it with water.
Where to Buy Thick Water?
Thick water products are readily available at many locations.
You can find them at many pharmacies, stores, and online.
Here are some of the best products on the market:
- Thick & Easy® Hydrolyte Thickened Water, Nectar Consistency.
- Thick-It® Clear Advantage Thickeners for both liquids and dry goods.
Remember these tips when looking to buy thick water products: check the ingredients list of your desired outcome before buying it.
Be mindful that some thickeners contain maltodextrin, which could cause bloating, gas or diarrhea insure people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Many commercial brands are also fortified with vitamins and minerals like potassium and calcium, so make sure you’re not allergic to any of those areas as well.
Besides this issue, there is no other known risk associated with using these products.
Thicker water tastes much the same way as regular drinking water.
However, some people may find that they enjoy thicker versions of their favorite drinks because it feels more satisfying to drink and easier on the stomach.
You can make your own thickened beverages by adding a thickener agent.
If you have trouble swallowing, then you may want to try a thickened drink or two.