Hydration is an important part of staying healthy and taking proper care of yourself. The correct balance of water and electrolytes in our bodies determines how most of our systems function. The general goal for fluid intake is 64 ounces (or eight 8 oz. glasses) or more each day. Staying hydrated and drinking water serves several purposes in our bodies, including:
- Removing waste through urine
- Regulating body temperature
- Regulating heart rate
- Regulating blood pressure
- Maintaining a healthy metabolism
Most of us are used to gulping down large amounts of water when we are thirsty. However, after bariatric surgery, drinking large amounts of fluid at one time will no longer be possible so you will have to be extra careful with the amount of fluids you consume and how you consume them.
If you become dehydrated you will experience increased thirst, dry mouth, concentrated urine and other symptoms such as:
- Altered behavior
- Severe anxiety
- Not being able to stay awake
- An inability to stand or walk
- Rapid breathing
- A weak, rapid pulse
- Loss of consciousness
It is important to remain hydrated especially during times when your body is undergoing more stress than usual, like when you’re exercising or if you just underwent a major surgery. You want your body to remain functioning at optimal levels, and hydration is a key influence on that.
Remaining Hydrated after Bariatric Surgery
Maintaining proper hydration after your bariatric surgery may prove to be difficult since your stomach is now at limited capacity for fluids. But remaining hydrated is essential since water can help your body heal, increase your energy levels and help you function as your body adjusts to losing weight.
Although water is good for your body, you want to make sure that you are avoiding certain drinking habits after your bariatric surgery.
- Don’t drink with meals. Water will fill up your already limited stomach space, which is needed for nutrient rich foods.
- Avoid carbonated or sugary drinks. Also, be wary of “enhanced waters” that may contain ingredients that could be harmful to your post-bariatric diet like unnecessary calories.
- Avoid drinking out of straws. This can deliver extra air to your stomach.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages until your weight loss surgeon says that it is all right. Alcohol dehydrates the body and will make it harder for you to maintain proper levels of hydration.
- Don’t gulp water or other beverages. This can make you full faster and could also lead to nausea or vomiting.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine can also dehydrate you.
To remain properly hydrated after you weight loss surgery you’ll want to sip slowly throughout the day. Try carrying a water bottle with you so that you will be reminded to remain hydrated. You should always consult your weight loss surgeon about any questions you may have concerning your post-bariatric diet. They will tell you how much you should be drinking throughout the day and which drinks you should avoid.