- Why is hydration so important after bariatric surgery?
- What are the obstacles we face achieving our fluid needs after weight loss surgery?
- How can we achieve our daily fluid goals after weight loss surgery?
- What can I drink after weight loss surgery?
Water is an essential nutrient in our diet. Our body needs water for proper functioning and to prevent dehydration. The number one reason patients are readmitted to the hospital after weight loss surgery is from dehydration. The fluid goal for optimal hydration after weight loss surgery is 64oz fluid per day (4, 16oz water bottles/day or 8, 8oz cups of fluid/day). If you exercise a lot, you may require more fluids to replace what is lost in your sweat.
Hydration after weight loss surgery can be a challenge to many… Post –op Sleeve Gastrectomy or Gastric Bypass or Lap Band you have a small stomach pouch which limits your stomach capacity. This reduced capacity enables you to achieve your weight loss goals by eating less and feeling satisfied quicker. But this limits the capacity of fluids to enter your new stomach. Both before while preparing for surgery and after surgery you must learn to space out your liquids from your meals to prevent you from filling up to quickly with fluids and not being able to consume your nutrient/protein based meal (This does get easier after surgery!!! We promise!!!!!).
Tips to help you achieve your fluid goals and stay hydrated after weight loss surgery:
1. Start drinking early in the day (Do not wait to after you get home from work to catch up on the fluids you did not drink during the day…It will not happen!).
2. Carry fluids with you all day while you are out and in the car.
3. Do not drink with your meals and wait 30 minutes after completing your meal to drink again (If you find it difficult to consume your meal, make sure to allow yourself time to stop drinking prior to eating. You may fill up too much on the fluids and then wont be able to consume your meal).
4. Make sure your fluids are Decaffeinated! If they contain caffeine it does not count towards your fluid intake. Caffeine is a diuretic.. It is dehydrating… (you can have up to 2 cups of regular coffee or tea with caffeine if you are drinking 64oz of other decaffeinated fluids).
5. Do not drink your calories! Make sure your fluids are calorie free (water has ZERO calories)- Chose sugar free, decaf and non carbonated fluids. Avoid waters containing carbohydrates and added sugars like Gatorade…
6. NO Carbonation!! The bubbles can stretch out your newly sized stomach over time! Carbonation can also cause stomach discomfort and bloating due to the small stomach pouch. Don’t do it! You have worked so hard to achieve your weight loss goals.
7. Sip..Sip..Sip- do not take big gulps (you probably will not be able to do so anyway).
8. You can use a straw!! This may enable you to achieve your fluid needs-allows you to sippppppp! If you feel gassy or find yourself burping… Stop using the straw!
9. Be aware of hidden ingredients! Read the label. Check for any added vitamins/minerals/herbs that you may have an allergy to.
What can you drink?
Water, vitamin water zero, sobe life water, True Lemon/Lime/Orange, decaf coffee or teas,propel, powerade zero, crystal light, true lemon/lime/orange or try infusing your own water.
Could you be dehydrated?
When our body loses too much water, our body becomes dehydrated or out of fluid balance.
Symptoms of mild moderate dehydration:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness
- Decreased urine output
- Decrease in tears when crying
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Symptoms of Severe Dehydration:
- Extreme thirst
- Irritability and confusion
- Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
- Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be darker than normal
- Sunken eyes
- Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- No tears when crying
- In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Unfortunately, thirst isn’t always a reliable gauge of the body’s need for water, especially in children and older adults. A better indicator is the color of your urine: Clear or light-colored urine means you’re well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.