People living with dysphagia or swallowing difficulties may be unable to consume foods that many people take for granted.
What some people don’t realise, though, is that dysphagia can also prevent people from safely swallowing liquids, meaning they need to have their drinks thickened. This can be a time consuming task, and needs to be done accurately to ensure the drink is at the correct thickness.
Hydrafast Thickened Water is a ready-made solution to that conundrum.
What is Hydrafast Thickened Water?
As the name suggests, Hydrafast is a range of pre-thickened water-based products which can be enjoyed by those who have swallowing difficulties, ensuring they’re able to consume drinks safely. They are thickened using guar gum and xanthan gum, which help to keep the liquid stable and safe to consume, and encourage the swallowing reflex which allows the water to slide easily. These gums are low in calorie and rich in soluble fibre.
The drinks are produced by Nutrisens, the French specialist in medical food and health nutrition, whose aim is to offer easy-to-use, tasty products to consumers.
Hydrafast Thickened Water is available in three flavours at Alimento: citrus, strawberry, and mango.
What IDDSI level is Hydrafast Thickened Water?
Hydrafast Thickened Water comes pre-packaged at IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative) Level 3 (Moderately Thick). This means that the drinks are safe for people who have been advised to consume drinks at this level.
For more information about IDDSI, check out our introduction to the IDDS framework.
How should the thickened water be consumed?
The water comes in a flexible pouch with a resealable opening, so it can be consumed directly from the pouch or poured into a cup. The product is firm at room temperature and does not break down in the mouth. This means it holds its consistency and does not become too fluid, but also does not require chewing.
These thickened water products are designed to enable dysphagia patients to remain hydrated, and should be consumed in conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet.
Does it contain any allergens?
The Hydrafast Thickened Water range contains no common allergens, and is lactose free and gluten free. It is suitable for vegetarians.
The water is flavoured and coloured with natural ingredients and flavourings.
How to store Hydrafast pouches
Hydrafast Thickened Waters should be stored in a cool and dry place, away from direct light. They have a shelf life of up to 18 months (but you should always check the packaging for the exact date).
Once opened, the pouch should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 24 hours.
A safe way to stay hydrated
For people with dysphagia, remaining hydrated can be problematic because of the need for liquids to be thickened. Hydrafast Thickened Water is a ready-to-use solution which can be included as part of dysphagia sufferers' daily fluid intakes.