Staying hydrated is very important after a weight loss surgery. In fact, it is an essential component to the healing process. It helps eliminate waste products more efficiently from the body and it also increases the sensation of fullness.
It is recommended that you drink 64 ounces of water or more daily. This, of course, could change depending on your weight, activity level, and weather conditions.
How to stay hydrated after weight loss surgery
After weight loss surgery, your stomach size is reduced significantly, limiting its capacity to hold both food and fluids. This can be one of the reasons why many bariatric patients struggle to get enough fluids all throughout the day.
Dr. Mark Colquitt and his team at Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville, TN put together some helpful tips so you can stay hydrated and reduce the chances of getting re-admitted due to dehydration:
• Don’t drink your fluids with your meals.
After bariatric surgery, you won’t be able to eat the same way as before. Drinking water or any other fluid with your meals will fill you up quickly. This can prevent you from getting the important nutrients your body needs. To prevent this, wait at least 30 minutes after your meal before you drink your water.
• Start drinking early in the day.
Do not play “catch up” on your fluid intake at the end of the day or wait until you feel thirsty before you start drinking water.
Keeping a water bottle nearby can help remind you to drink water consistently all throughout the day.
• Keep track of your fluid intake.
You may do this the old-school way (a.k.a pen and paper) or with phone apps. There are hydration apps that can also send you reminders when it’s time to hydrate.
• Steer clear of carbonated drinks.
Sparkling water may seem like a good alternative to the fuzzy soda, but the carbonation in it may not feel too good in your stomach. It can stretch it out and can make you feel uncomfortable and bloated.
• Limit your caffeine intake.
As much as possible, avoid starting your day with any caffeinated drink. Caffeine is a known diuretic and will dehydrate you.
If you are doing good in meeting your hydration needs per day, a small amount of caffeine can be okay.
• Experiment with different flavors.
Not a fan of plain water? Try adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or orange. It can make your water taste better without adding a ton of calories and sugar.
If you’re still struggling in staying hydrated, other bariatric patients may have more helpful tips for you. Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons have in-person and online (private) support groups. Questions about support meetings? Visit our SUPPORT GROUPS page or give us a call at (865) 984-3413.
Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. Foothills is affiliated with the Fort Sanders Regional Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.