Water & Hydration after Weight Loss Surgery
After weight loss surgery, you will be placed on a liquid diet as the first part of your recovery. You will then reintroduce more nutritional liquids and eventually soft then solid food. Your surgeon will guide you and your diet advancement timeline. Your surgeon will also recommend sipping water constantly throughout the day, about 1-2 ounces every 30 minutes. Your surgeon and dietitian will offer the exact number and method that’s best for your particular circumstance.
Keeping your body hydrated post surgery with clear, decaffeinated liquids is key. Be careful to avoid caffeine as it is a diuretic and can dehydrate you, even cause your heart to race unnecessarily. The same is true for alcohol and energy drinks.
Constipation often occurs after surgery due to anatomic changes and medication. Drinking lots of water to prevent this discomfort will be important post surgery. You will be in some pain as you recover, so avoiding any additional discomfort due to constipation is key.
You will, however, need to relearn how to consume fluids. It is recommended that you drink at a slow, constant rate all day. You want to pay special attention not only to how often you drink but to how much you are drinking. To help with the important task of keeping your body hydrated:
- Keep a daily journal of how much water you are drinking.
- Never leave home without a water bottle.
- You may want to try a baby cup with measurements to help regulate how much you are consuming with each sip.
- Avoid straws as you may take in too much air which can cause excess gassiness and uncomfortable bloat.
- Try not to chug your water all at once. You may consume your daily quota, but still find yourself dehydrated because you flushed all of the water out of your body too soon.
Most patients should strive to drink 64 ounces of water each day. That’s about 8 regular glasses. However, this is just a general guide. You may need more on hot days and additional hydration may be necessary after strenuous activity or exercise. Bear in mind that you also may need to supplement your water with electrolytes – these are the salts and minerals that keep your cells healthy. Many sports drinks and energy drinks contain a bunch of sugar and work against your goals. Similarly, artificial sweetener is not a great option, as it can make you crave sugar despite being zero calories. Opt instead for plain water, infused fruit water, electrolyte water and low-calorie, low sugar juices such as coconut water, if recommended by your surgeon.
Ensuring you reach your hydration will help with safe, measureable weight loss and to ultimately feel better throughout the process.
If you have any questions about your water consumption, speak to your surgeon and/or dietitian who will be able to help you with your particular circumstances.