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Kidney Disease: Understanding Fluids

Healthy kidneys balance the amount of fluid that enters and leaves the body. If your kidneys can't maintain this fluid balance, you may need to limit your fluid intake. Always talk with your healthcare provider and ask how many ounces of fluid you can have every 24 hours. For accuracy, it's helpful to use a certain glass or mug and measure how much fluid it holds. Some glasses and mugs may look the same size. But they can hold different amounts of fluid. The information below can help.

Hand pouring water from measuring cup into drinking glass.
Make it a habit to measure fluids or check fluid content before you drink or eat.

What counts as a fluid?

Fluids are foods that are liquid at room temperature. All of the foods listed below count toward your fluid intake:

  • Water for drinking and taking medicines

  • Ice cubes and ice chips

  • Coffee and tea

  • Sodas

  • Milk, cream, and liquid creamer

  • Juices, both fruit and vegetable

  • Soups

  • Popsicles

  • Ice cream, sherbets, and sorbets

  • Gelatin

Figuring fluid amounts

Fluids can be measured in different ways. The chart below can help you convert among units of measure. For ease of use, some numbers have been rounded off.

1 liter

4.2 cups

34 ounces

1,000 ml

1 quart

4 cups

32 ounces

1,000 ml

1 pint

2 cups

16 ounces

500 ml

1/2 pint

1 cup

8 ounces

250 ml

1/2 cup

4 ounces

120 ml



1/3 cup

3 ounces

80 ml



1/4 cup

2 ounces

60 ml



2 tbsp

1/8 cup

1 ounce

30 ml

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Walead Latif MD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2022
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.