15 Ways to Battle Metallic Taste from Chemo

by bnmcnabb

Ways To Battle Metallic Taste From Chemo

When going through chemo, many WhatNexters notice a bad metallic taste in their mouth. Changes in taste, which is a common side effect of chemotherapy, can result in aversions to certain foods and loss of appetite. Different solutions to fight that nasty metal taste may work for different people, but here are some common ways that seem to work for WhatNexters while going through chemo.

1. Spicy Foods

Spicy Foods For Metallic Taste

via giphy.com

Try eating foods that are more on the spicy side. The enhanced spices may kick start your taste buds. Be careful of eating anything too spicy if you are on radiation or have sores in your mouth, too much spice may burn.

2. Plastic Cutlery 

Plastic Cutlery For Metallic Taste


Use plastic eating utensils instead of metal may help avoid that metallic taste. You could even purchase reusable plastic cutlery. Also, when drinking a canned drink, pour it into a glass or drink it out of a straw.

3. Cold or Frozen Foods

Cold Foods For Metallic Taste

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Cold or frozen/icy foods often taste better to those going through treatment. Some say that their mouth is too sensitive to the cold, but others say that it helps with the bad taste.

4. Hard or Sour Candies

Chemo Lemon Drops Via Walmart.Com

via google.com

Many people swear by sucking on hard or sour candies such as lemon drops.

5. Acidic Foods

Sour Candies For Chemo

via healthtap.com

Acidic things sometimes work against metal taste: lemon or crystal light in water, lemonade, ketchup or BBQ sauce on meat, one WhatNexter said to put pickles on everything as it will neutralize the metallic taste.

6. Marinate Meats

Marinate For Metallic Taste

via holidayscentral.com

Marinate meats in fruit juices, sweet wines, salad dressings, or other sauces to add more flavor and make them more desirable to eat.

7. Time Your Eating With Chemo

Timing Your Eating Metallic Taste

via fightmagazine.com

Avoid eating one to two hours before and up to three hours after chemotherapy to prevent food aversions caused by nausea and vomiting. In addition, avoiding favorite foods before chemotherapy helps prevent aversions to those foods. Again, everyone is different; if you need to eat at any of these times near chemo consider picking and choosing what you eat in case you have a bad reaction.

8. Rinse or Brush Mouth With Baking Soda

Baking Soda Rinse Via Buzzle

via buzzle.com

Rinsing with a baking soda and salt mixture 3:1 before eating may help neutralize the bad tastes and as a bonus it helps to heal sores in the mouth. You could brush with this solution once a day if it helps.

9. Eliminate Bad Smells

Gross Smells Metallic Taste

via tlc.howstuffworks.com

If it is the smell of cooking your foods that bothers you, then you can cook your meats outside on the grill in the summer or buy things pre-cooked.If the smell of foods is bothering you, use your exhaust fan to remove the cooking odors or cook outside. Or you can buy pre-cooked foods or eat room temperature foods so you don't smell it cooking.

10. Find Substitutes for Red Meat

Eliminate Red Meat Metallic Taste

via julies40sproject.blogspot.com

Red meat commonly gives off a metal taste so try other protein sources (such as poultry, eggs, fish, peanut butter, beans, or dairy products) if red meats don't taste good.

11. Extreme Sweet Foods

Sweet Food For Metallic Taste

via huffingtonpost.com

Ice cream, milkshakes, sundaes and other extreme sweet foods help many. Sometimes it takes a strong flavor punch to get the taste across. WhatNexters experiment with different sweets that they like while still watching their sugar intake.

12. Experiment in the Kitchen 

Cooking New Foods For Metallic Taste

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It may be that you just need to mix your eating habits up from what you are used to eating. If you eat the same thing over and over again it may become familiar and bland and even take on that metal taste. Experiment with different flavors and think of ways to make cooking new dishes and foods more fun and less of a chore; you could even ask your friends to pitch in if you don't have the time. 

13. Avoid Foods You Love If You're Worried About "Ruining Them" for Yourself

Avoid Ruining Foods Metallic Taste

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Many WhatNexters say that they go on a temporary hiatus from foods they really love so that they do not end up ruining the taste for themselves and can return to their normal eating habits when treatment is over.

14. Eat What Taste Goods

Find Yummy Food Metallic Taste

via weheartit.com

It may sound simple, but just eat what smells and tastes good. Some WhatNexters say they "could never" eat this or that, and then went through chemotherapy and they loved it. Try to stay open-minded as your taste changes.

15. Find the Right Combination and Stick With It

Find The Right Combination Metallic Taste

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And One More

A product called Metaqil, is said to eliminate the metal taste from chemo with just a few drops. Here is some more information about it in our post -

Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy & Metallic Taste

Some WhatNexters have found some weird or random food obsessions when they've gone through chemo. They've done it right though, found what they like through trial and error, and stuck with it. Below are a few weird discoveries that have worked for others. 

"I was on grits and butter with eggs and orange juice and that was my comfort food. I had to change my bread to a different brand. I just remember to keep eating, that was my key to healing faster." - itsjustme736

"I just had to find what I liked with this new palette of mine. Sweet is always a go-to for me. Oreos! I really like scrambled eggs and they started tasting metallic to me. I just kept eating them and learned to introduce salsa which brought them back to taste good. I finished my treatments and most is back to normal with my taste buds." - juddmaster

"Even water had that metallic taste, but I forced myself to just drink it. Comfort food (chicken and noodles, potatoes) and fruits and vegetables were appealing. I also had smoothies made with ice cream. During my 12 weeks of chemo I usually lost my sweet/salty taste from days 3-5 or so. I kept a journal so I could keep track of what to expect with each treatment and it was usually quite consistent." - suz55

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