It is the single most important requirement after a gastric sleeve gastrectomy, duodenal switch, or gastric bypass bariatric surgery: Staying hydrated. In fact, for the first two weeks, your diet will be made up of mostly liquids. Drinking 96 ounces of sugar-free liquid every day is the best way to stay hydrated, and adding a lemon slice or protein supplement will give it a little flavor.
Even after a few months, staying hydrated after weight loss surgery is still important. Although your diet will change to allow for more solid foods, making sure you get the required cups of fluids every day is required. Healthy eating plays a part as well and some foods even help you stay hydrated.
Feeling Dehydrated in the Morning?
After drinking that much water during the day, most patients are able to make it through the night without losing too much fluid. In fact, the body does what it can to keep fluid loss to a minimum when you sleep. If waking up with a dry mouth is an everyday occurrence, it could be a sign there’s something wrong.
That dryness could be caused by sleeping with your mouth open or a sign of sleep apnea – a disorder that affects obese people. Or it could be as easy as turning off the fan in your room at night. Fans can cause your nose or mouth to dehydrate if the air is being blown directly at you.
Of course, if your room is too hot, you may lose fluid during the night to night sweats. If you suffer from night sweats even in comfortable temps, there may be a medical problem though. We recommend talking to your health care professional about possible underlying causes.
Other issues, such as working out too late at night and not rehydrating, changes in estrogen levels, or suffering side effects of medication can also cause you to lose fluid. In those, have a glass of water on a bedside table ready. Or maybe restrict physical activity to the day or early evening hours.
General Rules for Drinking Water After Surgery
In the days, weeks, and months after surgery, you’ll need to make sure your water intake remains high. However, there are things to think about right after surgery when it comes to drinking water. No matter what bariatric surgery patients had performed, the stomach pouch is going to be much smaller than it was.
Although that’s designed to keep you from eating too much in one sitting, the same goes for water. When drinking, make sure not to gulp the water down. It will fill your stomach faster than it can get rid of the liquid which can lead to an upset stomach, pain, or injury.
Taking sips of liquid throughout the day will prevent dehydration and be much easier on the stomach. We recommend taking a water bottle with you wherever you go to keep your fluid intake up. This can be difficult if you aren’t used to drinking that much water. But having the water bottle handy will be a constant reminder.
When your diet plan allows you to start eating soft foods, you may be compelled to drink water during a meal. However, you must wait at least 1 hour after eating to drink any fluids. Remember, your stomach is much smaller now. The liquid will take up room in your stomach when it should be food.
Although it should go without saying, liquids high in sugar, carbonated beverages, and alcohol should be avoided in the months after surgery. They will irritate the stomach, but they also aren’t very good for you. For long term results, you’ll need to avoid sugars and empty calories at every meal.
If you or a family member is considering bariatric surgery, watch our free online seminar to see why our program is so successful. Each patient works with a surgeon, dietitian, exercise physiologist, and patient advocate to ensure complete support during this lifestyle change. When you’re ready, we’ll be here for you.