Radiotherapy - caffeine

Good evening 

im due to start my radiotherapy sessions on Tuesday and I thought I was pretty clued up and ready for it until a friend visited today who's father is due to start radiotherapy also.  He however has been advised to completely cut out all caffeine during his treatment.  This is something I have been told about and I can't seem to find anything within the leaflets I have been given so was just wondering if anyone else has/had been given this advice.

many thanks 

Michelle xx

I was advised drink 2.5 litres water on top of my normal tea an coffee an drinks, I switched all my teas an coffee to decaf,but try an stay away from it with them being duertics, an after constantly going toilet with all extra fluids I didn't need any more reason to go to the loo, would advise fruit an barley dilute as rad nurses advised an touch wood I not suffered cystitis 


Dawnx x I'm


i switched to decaff at the start of treatment but only lasted a week haha! I never had any issues, just make sure you drink loads and loads of water

tracey x


my clinic  had this class on how to manage treatment. They did say it wasn't recommended to have caffeine but when I went to my naturalpathic dr he said that the odd cup won't hurt. He simply stated to make sure lots and lots of water Regardless if I drank caffeine or not. 

If you enjoy that coffee then go ahead. Your body will tell you if it doesn't like it. 

However!! By the end of treatment everything taste like cardboard so you wont be able to tell if you are drinking coffe or toilet water. :/

Hi Michelle,

I was a total coffee fiend. Fresh ground & filtered through a caffetiere, strong and without milk or sugar. Nothing was going to get between me and my coffee fix. I planned things before my chemo & radio started and aimed to drink 2-2.5 litres of non caffeinated fluids a day, not including the coffee which I continued to drink every morning up to the treatment beginning.

I had my first chemo & radio on the Monday, then daily radiotherapy. On Wednesday I thought my regular morning coffee fix tasted and smelled odd, on Thursday I threw the whole lot up. I couldnt bear the taste or smell of the stuff for the rest of my treatment nor for about six weeks after it ended. Three and a half months later I can just about tolerate a small coffee occasionally, but I've at last started to like the smell of it again! 

Everyone is different, you might continue to love your coffee and when going through this treatment you should hold on to those treats in the midst of it all. Just in moderation. The main thing is to look after your kidneys & bladder. Get into the habit of flushing them through every day by drinking to reduce the risk of urine infection & irritation. Caffeine (and alcohol) irritates the bladder and also works as a diuretic which stimulates the kidneys to fill the bladder more quickly. So maybe have a glass of water around the same time so that you can dilute that effect?

Pelvic radiotherapy also risks exposing your bladder to some of the treatment effect because it is so close to your cervix, so it benefits from all the help you can give it. It's as important to think about this in terms of reducing the late effects of pelvic radiation, not just the acute ones that might happen during treatment. My team specifically asked for me to have a full bladder for every radiotherapy treatment, because it helps to push other bits of bowel out of the way and assists with treatment targeting accuracy. Doing this helped me keep my daily fluid intake up, made me work hard to use & control my bladder muscles (!) and helped me feel as if I was doing something kind to my kidneys which were dealing with flushing out chemo & endless amounts of steroids, painkillers, anti-emetics etc... 


I've not been able to tolerate coffee at all during my treatment the smell and taste makes me nauseous!!

Hi. I wasn't told to avoid caffeine. I probably had 2 cups a day and lots and lots of water. 

I think I was one of the lucky ones as I didn't lose my sense of taste at all x

Pretty much the same as Cheery1 I absolutely need coffee but couldn't abide it during treatment even though it was about the only thing I wasn't told to avoid. I switched to green tea. Coffee all back to normal after treatment though :-)

Be lucky :-)

I was not told anything about avoiding caffeine. I drank 2.2 litres of water a day but continued with my coffee without issue. I didn't have any issues with taste either. Hope it all goes well for you ❤