What Is a Fluid Restricted Diet?

A fluid restricted diet limits the amount of fluid that you consume each day. In addition to beverages, many foods provide fluids. Examples include ice cream, yogurt, gelatin, pudding, soups, sauces, and watery fruits.

Why Should I Follow a Fluid Restricted Diet?

A fluid restricted diet helps prevent fluid from building up in the body. You may need to follow a fluid restricted diet if you have end-stage kidney disease, are on ]]>dialysis]]>, or have ]]>congestive heart failure]]>. In these cases, not following a fluid restricted diet can add stress to the body and lead to additional complications.

How Much Fluid Can I Have?

This varies depending on factors, like your body size and health conditions. For heart disease, many doctors recommend limiting fluid to 64 ounces (8 cups) per day. Your doctor will prescribe a fluid allowance that is right for you.

What Foods Should be Limited on the Fluid Restricted Diet?

The following foods and beverages should be limited on the fluid restricted diet:

  • All beverages
  • All foods that are liquid at room temperature:
    • Ice cubes
    • Gelatin
    • Ice cream
    • Yogurt
    • Soups
    • Sauces
    • Watery fruit


  • Keep a fluid log:
    • Record your daily fluid intake.
    • Make sure you know how much fluid your bowls, mugs, and glasses hold. (To determine this, fill each with water. Then, pour the water into a measuring cup.)
    • Weigh yourself daily or according to your doctor’s orders. A rapid change in weight can be the result of fluid gain or loss.
  • To reduce your thirst and alleviate dry mouth:
    • Eat a diet low in sodium.
    • Chew on ice chips.
    • Suck on sugar-free hard candy.
    • Chew gum.
  • Work with a dietitian to develop an individualized eating plan.