Drinking water after your weight loss surgery is essential to your recovery and will impact how your body heals. Fluids flush out bacteria and waste, as well as transporting the nutrients that nourish your cells. It’s also important for general health because water is present in every human cell and support many systems in the body.
This article will examine how to stay hydrated after gastric sleeve and other bariatric surgeries. It will define “hydrated,” and how to tell if you are dehydrated, and provide actionable tips to ensure you get enough water.
How to Tell if You’re Hydrated
Scientific recommendations for how much water to drink daily vary and depend on factors such as:
- Your activity level
- The temperature in your environment
- Whether you have a fever, diarrhea or are vomiting*
*If you are experiencing any of these symptoms shortly after your weight loss surgery, please contact your surgical team.
According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine, the total water intake for young men between 19 and 30 is about 13 cups (101 fluid ounces) daily, while young women should drink about nine cups or 74 fluid ounces per day.
If you’d rather estimate instead of counting the number of glasses of water you drink, the Mayo Clinic says that if you’re rarely thirsty and your urine is pale yellow or clear, then you are probably drinking enough fluid to stay “safely hydrated.”
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How Much Water Can You Drink After Gastric Sleeve and Other Procedures?
Immediately following gastric sleeve and other weight loss procedures, follow your surgeon’s recommendations and only drink clear fluids for the first week and keep to the post-op diet plan as you transition to solid foods.
If you’re worried that drinking too much water will either stretch or hurt your gastric sleeve, don’t be concerned. Water consumption cannot hurt your sleeve.
Unless your doctor has specific recommendations for water consumption, you can follow the Mayo Clinic guidelines of drinking enough water to ensure that you’re not thirsty, also keeping your urine colorless or light yellow.
These are potential signs of dehydration after bariatric surgery:
- Feeling thirsty
- Feeling nauseous
- Rapid heart rate
- Dark concentrated urine
- Feeling irritable
- Being tired
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms immediately following surgery, and if drinking water doesn’t reduce the severity of the symptoms, contact your surgical team.
How You Can Stay Hydrated
Remembering to drink enough water may not be an automatic behavior for you. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you to stay hydrated.
Smart Water Bottles and Devices
There are many options for hydration-friendly water bottles – one of the most technically advanced and sophisticated is H2Opal. The bottle has many advanced features, including:
- Synching to your smartphone, Apple watch or FitBit to track your water intake
- Sending messages to your smartphone to remind you to drink your water
- Tracking your personal hydration goals
The H2Opal costs $99. But if you don’t need that level of functionality, you can get the Ulla Hydration Reminder for $30 instead. It activates when you get near it, senses when you take a drink and blinks to remind you to drink during “optimal water hydration times.”
Disguise Your Water
If you don’t like the taste of water or find it too boring, you can always disguise the taste with drops, like SweetLeaf Water Drops Mixed Berry flavor. There are many different flavors and types of water drops, but SweetLeaf contains stevia instead of sugar or corn syrup and may be healthier.
Flavor your water with drops, or blended fruit such as watermelon.
Contact The Soma Care Team If You Have Any Questions
The care you take following surgery is essential to your recovery. The Soma Care Team can help you prepare for your transition to a healthier life. If you’re considering weight loss surgery and have questions, call Soma Weight Loss at 855-766-2411 today.