Don’t Take a Vacation From Hydration!

March 1, 2017

Jamie Carpenter, MS, RD, LDN, Bariatric Dietitian

Staying adequately hydrated post bariatric surgery can seem daunting since the stomach’s capacity is significantly reduced.  The current recommendation is that patients consume 48-64 ounces (six to eight 8 ounce glasses) of low calorie fluids per day with the emphasis on water.  It is recommended that patients SIP fluids throughout the day and NOT gulp or chug.

It is also recommended that patients wait a minimum of 15- 30 minutes before and after they eat before drinking fluids.  It is especially important to wait closer to 30 minutes after they eat to prevent faster gastric emptying which can lead to dumping syndrome, nausea and vomiting.  If a fluid and food are consumed too close together, then that food and fluid have to compete for space in that smaller pouch.  If they drink too soon after eating, food can be pushed through the stomach faster and empty out of the stomach sooner and actually cause one to feel hungrier sooner as well.  Another bonus to staying hydrated is that it helps decrease constipation and even decreases the risk of urinary tract infections.

Here are some tips to help our patients prevent taking a vacation from hydration!

  1. Invest in a nice water bottle (one without a straw so that extra air isn’t swallowed and avoid one with too large an opening to prevent gulping). Take it with you everywhere you go (i.e.: car, purse, work) to allow for more opportunities throughout the day to sip to the 48-64 ounce goal range.
  2. If tap water isn’t an option, keep a pitcher of filtered water or bottled water in the refrigerator. You can even add lemon or sliced cucumbers to add flavor!
  3. Choose non-carbonated, caffeine-free, low sugar, non-alcoholic beverages.
  4. Monitor your urine. If your urine is too dark/concentrated or you aren’t urinating at least every 4 hours after surgery, then you are not drinking enough fluids and are possibly dehydrated.
  5. Sip on an 8-10 ounce glass of water first thing in the morning to kick start your hydration for the day!

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This surgery is designed for those with a body mass index equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious co-morbidities.

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