To liquids

It is characterized by coughing or itching in the throat with a feeling of cloudiness after drinking water or other liquids. In lung cancer it is not common, but it can take place occasionally. Sometimes, in addition, there are changes in the voice after swallowing. It is recommended to modify and adapt the viscosity/texture of liquids, even water, to prevent these liquids from going into the lung and causing potentially dangerous lung infections.


Currently, three different types of viscosities can be indicated according to the degree of dysphagia: nectar, honey or pudding.

Viscosity classification for liquid dysphagia
viscosity Examples of drinks and food
Texture similar to peach juice.
It can be drunk with a straw or a glass.
When decanted, it forms a fine filament.
Tomato juice, peach juice, commercial vegetable creams, gazpacho, liquid yogurts to drink
Honey-like texture.
You can’t drink it with a cane, but you can drink it with a glass.
When decanted, it forms large shapeless drops.
Whipped yogurt, custard
Custard or pudding texture.
It is eaten only with a spoon.
When decanted, it falls as a shaped mass.
Flam, curd, curd

Always follow the instructions for the thickener in all liquids that are ingested, as there are different types of commercial thickeners:

Aspects to consider when thickening drinks with commercial thickeners
  • The dosage indicated on the packaging corresponds to the amount needed to achieve the necessary viscosity with water. If we thicken another drink, the dosage for the same viscosity may vary.
  • It is important to respect the time the thickener needs to do its job. This time can also vary depending on the liquid and the temperature, so it is recommended to thicken the drink at the consumption temperature, respecting the action time, but always consume it within the indicated period. Thus, we will avoid changes in viscosity due to a change in temperature.
  • Whenever you want to add some ingredient to the drink that you want to dissolve or mix different drinks, you will have to do it before adding the thickener. A drink should never be thickened and another ingredient added later.
  • The original viscosity of a juice is not always completely liquid, so we may need less dosage than indicated on the package to achieve the necessary viscosity.
  • Depending on the fruit or fruits with which we make the juice, it may be necessary to strain it before thickening it.
Milk and milk drinks
  • Getting the thickener completely dissolved can be difficult. As a general rule, milk and milk drinks containing milk will need a longer action time.
  • The thickener usually dissolves better if the drink is hot.
Vegetable drinks
  • Dissolution of the thickener in plant-based beverages is usually easier than in dairy beverages, although a longer action time may also be required.
Fizzy drinks
  • Degassing any drink that contains it will help the thickener to better incorporate.
Other drinks
  • In the case of beverages such as tea, coffee alone or other infusions, more thickener than indicated may be required to achieve the required viscosity.
  • If you have a nutritional supplement prescribed from the reference center, you will need to adapt its viscosity considering these recommendations.

Take the medication with food, drinks or gelled water that also has the indicated viscosity.

Sitting or the more incorporated the better, always avoiding hyperextension of the head.

Eat slowly and with enough time between each spoonful.

They are those made up of liquid and solid parts: soup with pasta, rice with milk, yogurt with muesli, milk with muffins, and foods such as tangerines, oranges or fruits with lots of juice. Both textures in the mouth make it difficult to control the swallowing of liquids.

Such as pineapple, artichokes, asparagus and fibrous meats, or those that crumble easily when chewed, such as crackers, chips, toast sticks or dried fruit. You should also avoid legumes in which the skin comes off easily.

When they come into contact with the heat of the mouth and saliva they become liquid. For this type of preparation, you can use agar-agar or special gelled waters, sold in pharmacies.

You can choose to thicken common drinks following the previous guidelines or, on occasion, prepare drinks with different or not so typical tastes. To do this they are prepared in the standard way, strained to avoid fibers or seeds and thickened until the required viscosity is achieved.

Homemade pink lemonade

Ingredients (for two servings)

  • 100 g of strawberries
  • 50 g of blueberries
  • 70g chilled lemon juice (about two lemons)
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 200 ml of very cold water
  • 1 c/p of sweetener (sugar, honey, syrup…), optional and according to preference


  • Add the strawberries and blueberries (they must be very cold and therefore have been in the fridge for a couple of hours), clean and without leaves, into a mason jar or the bowl of an electric hand mixer ; lemon juice; mint leaves; water, and sugar or sweetener.
  • Grind the whole thing.
  • Pass the preparation through a fine sieve to remove any particles.
  • Separate the drink into two glasses.
  • Add the commercial thickener for each serving (200 ml and separately, if you want to thicken both servings), following the product directions and dosage to achieve the required viscosity.*
  • Validate its viscosity before consuming. Serve it cold.

* Please note that when making drinks that include non-liquid ingredients, the resulting viscosity may correspond to a nectar or honey viscosity, so you will need to adapt the dosage indicated on the product.

Try not to eat alone.