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What Is Thick Water?

Kevin Cleary

Health Products for You explains thick water and the health benefit of thickened water/food.

Thick water is used for dysphasia, a swallowing disorder. It helps prevent pulmonary aspiration during the act of swallowing in those with that condition. Foods can also be thickened to make swallowing safer. Everybody has had food “go down the wrong way”! HPFY has five great thickeners available at health products for you.

What is Thick Water Used for?

Most people have probably never heard of thick or thickened water – not until it becomes a necessity anyway. Thick or thickened water is used most often for a swallowing disorder called dysphasia. Dysphasia can cause pulmonary aspiration, which is food or drink making its way into the lower respiratory area. And that can lead to cough or potentially even pneumonia. Patients who had been extubated are often advised to use thickeners.

The International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI) addresses the appropriate viscosity and consistency of thick/end water. According to this, the thickness of a liquid is evaluated by the amount of liquid that pours out of a 10 mL syringe in 10 seconds. This is measured on a 0-4 scale as follows:

Steps to Measure Thick Water

  • Thin liquids un-thickened such as water, juice, or coffee
  • Slightly thick (between 6-9 mL from a 10 mL syringe in 10 seconds)
  • Mildly thick (2-6 mL from a 10 mL syringe in 10 seconds)
  • Moderately thick (2 or less mL)
  • Extremely thick (drinks in this stage require a spoon and are similar to pureed food)

5 Great Food & Beverage Thickeners

Many have asked “how do I make thick water?” If you are searching for a food or beverage thickener, choosing one may seem complicated and confusing. At HPFY, we have these 5 great thickeners to make life easier.

1. Simply Thick EasyMix Instant Food Thickener

The pre-measured packets allow for fast and easy preparation of beverages anywhere. This FDA approved thickener does not continue to thicken over time and uses 60% less gel to achieve the desired thickness. The single-use packaging does not require spoon or scoops while eliminating open packaging. As a gel, it does not lump and only adds 1-3 g of carbohydrates.

2. Kent Thick-It Original Instant Food and Beverage Thickeners

Ideal for those with dysphasia and other swallowing disorders, this cornstarch-based thickener sets within 30-60 seconds and can be used in both hot and cold foods to any desired thickness without affecting flavor. It gives the body caloric intake, nutrients, and hydration.

Manuals and Documents

pdf logo Thick-It Instant Food And Beverage Thickener User Manual



3. Nestle Resource Thicken up Instant Food and Drink Thickener

Designed to rapidly thicken liquids, food, and other oral nutritional supplements for those with swallowing disorders, this thickener is an innovative thickening agent made from xanthan gum that is more concentrated and so requires less powder than other starch-based thickeners and is ACBS approved.

Manuals and Documents

pdf logo Resource Thickenup Instant Food and Drink Thickener User Manual

4. Hormel Thick and Easy Instant Food & Beverage Thickener

This food/beverage thickener can be added to all types of hot or cold food, liquids, and supplements without affecting taste. The powder of this thickener blends quickly and smoothly to achieve nectar, honey, or spoon thick consistencies while releasing 98% of available fluids after consumption. Gluten and lactose free, it leaves no aftertaste and stops thickening after one minute.

5. Simply Thick Easy Mix Gel Thickener Bottle with Pump

Designed to thicken any liquid (hot or cold), this thickener gel is perfect for those with swallowing difficulties and thickens in seconds instead of minutes. The flexibility of this thickening agent allows users to add body to foods to make processing easier without affecting the color of the final product.

Those who suffer from swallowing difficulties can make eating and drinking easier with thick water and food thickeners. Thickened water simply allows for safer swallowing which helps improve the quality of life for users. Visit  Health Products for You to purchase all your water/food thickening needs.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Hi there, my name is Kevin Cleary. I was born in Westchester County in 1966 on December 3. I lived there until 1973 when my family moved. I graduated from high school in 1984 and then attended college in New ...

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