Humans are always experimenting with things to discover new and more useful things. And these experiments are not confined to just technologies. We recently came across the term thick water which made us wonder what actually is thick water. But more surprisingly, people are drinking this thick water. So, we decided to put it forward and tell you about the purpose of thick water. Along with this, let’s discuss the benefits of drinking thick water. If you are wondering whether is thick water better than water, keep reading.
1. What is the Viscosity of Water?
The measurement of the resistance of water to deform at a given rate is termed the viscosity of water. It refers to the resistance of water or gas to change their shape or alter the movement of the neighboring portions relative to each other. The higher the viscosity, the slower will be the movement. For example, comparing the viscosity of water with honey, it is concluded that water has a low viscosity which means it is less thick in comparison to honey. (See How to Describe Water?)
2. Does Viscosity affect Swallowing?
Yes, viscosity influences swallowing. A liquid with higher viscosity means it will take a longer time to swallow them. According to the rheological properties of the food bolus, the shear flow viscosity decreases with an increase in the viscosity while you swallow it. This also increases the pharyngeal transit time. (See What Sometimes Occurs When Reclaimed Water is Used in Agriculture?)
3. What is Thick Water?
The water specifically designed for people with difficulty swallowing is known as thick water. These people suffer from a disorder known as dysphagia in which it is difficult and time-consuming to move food from mouth to stomach. Thick water is available in the market and there are ways to thicken water at home. (See Is Making Hydroxyquinoline at Home Safe?)
4. What is the Taste of Thick Water?Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
You are close to knowing the purpose of thick water. Since water has no taste, therefore, thick water is similar in taste to that tap water. The only difference that you will feel is consistency. Slowly you can swallow thick water but a mouthful of it will feel chunky. To make the process easy, you can add flavors to it like lemon juice or stevia, etc. (See Why Some People Don’t Drink Tap Water?)
5. What is the Purpose of Thick Water?
The main purpose of thick water is to provide better control to the drinker over their mouth. They aim at slowing down the flow rate of the liquids. Thick liquids enable the person to slowly swallow them. This also prevents the liquids from entering the trachea. It is mainly innovative for people suffering from swallowing disorders. (See Boiling of Water is a Physical Change or Chemical Change?)
6. How can Thick Liquid ease Swallowing?
There are more than 50 pairs of nerves and muscles working in your mouth and throat to help you swallow. As you age, these nerves and muscles face wear and tear. As a result, the muscles decrease in size, making it difficult to swallow. (See When Pure Water is consumed the Extracellular Fluid becomes What?)
7. What other Liquids can be Thickened?
You may be surprised that not only water but other things are also thickened. You can thicken the following liquids:
- Fruit Juice
- Soft Drinks
8. What are Different Levels of Thickening?Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
According to the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI), the thickness of any liquid can be tested by measuring the amount of liquid poured out of the 10 ml syringe in 10 seconds. There are different levels of thickening the liquids to suit the requirements of the person. The standard range of thickness of liquids is as follows:
- Nectar liquids like maple syrup or vegetable juices have a thickness that will coat a fork.
- Honey or other liquids with the same thickness will also coat a fork.
- Water, coffee, or tea will run quickly through the fork leaving behind no coating. Consistency helps in serving the purpose of thick water.
9. What are the Benefits of Drinking Thick Water?
Thick water may not be a tastier version of water, but it is considered to have nutritious values to provide to the person with dysphagia. It helps them to stay hydrated. However, people with the following problems can also get nutrition benefits from thick water.
- Esophagitis (Inflammation of the esophagus)
- Thyroid nodules
- Acid reflux and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Parkinson’s
10. What are the Symptoms of Dysphagia?
Here is the list of signs and symptoms of dysphagia:
- Cough and gag during swallowing
- Pain while swallowing
- Inability to swallow
- Regurgitation (food coming up back the food pipe)
- Stomach acid coming back up the food pipe
- A sensation of food being stuck in the throat, chest, or sternum
11. What Problems are Associated with Dysphagia?
A problem that inflicts the ability to intake food and water can lead to various problems. Here is a list of possible difficulties faced:
- Aspiration pneumonia: When food and liquid are often entered into the windpipe, the possibility of introducing bacteria into the lungs increases. This generates aspiration pneumonia.
- Choking: This is the most common problem witnessed by people with dysphagia. The food enters the windpipe and obstructs the airway. This condition can be severe and even result in death. The purpose of thick water here serves in reducing the flow to avoid choking.
- Malnutrition and dehydration: Being unable to eat and drink will result in a person getting dehydrated and suffering from malnutrition. Their body lacks the necessary nutrients and energy to carry out daily activities.
12. Is Thick Water better than Water?
Water is essential for numerous processes in living organisms. But what if a person is unable to intake enough amount of water through drinking? Various body functions and processes will be hindered, resulting in health issues and most commonly dehydration. You and I can get the required hydration from water but people with difficulty swallowing need something like thick water to fulfill the need. Therefore, in terms of what is better, it simply depends on who is using it. (See Why you should drink more Water?)
13. What Brands offer Thick Water?Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash
Over the years, various brands have started manufacturing thick water. Take a look at the list:
- Simply Thick
- Thick & Easy
- Thick & Clear
So, today you got to know about the purpose of thick water for which it is required. For people suffering from difficulty swallowing disorder, there are benefits of drinking thick water. Here it is mentioned whether is thick water better than water, and the purpose of thick water. Now you can share this article with your friends and relatives and let them decide if they want to consume this thick water liquid, as it will definitely ease your swallowing issues. (See How Long does a Bottle of Liquid Chlorophyll last?)