After Weight Loss Surgery

Will You Need to Drink Less Water as You Lose Weight?

Woman holding glass of water and smiling

When discussing bariatric surgery, hydration is one of the cornerstones of a successful postoperative journey. Dehydration is not only one of the most significant risks for admission to the hospital after surgery but following an appropriate hydration protocol will keep you full when you need to be and help you manage some of the cravings that many bariatric patients will face early on and even later in their bariatric journey.

Considerations of Drinking Water

  • Depending on your procedure, you may not be able to drink as much water as you need immediately after your bariatric procedure. Be sure to reference your post-operative packet and speak to your surgeon or nurse to understand precisely how to drink your water and how much you should drink.
  • If you are exercising vigorously, you will need more water. Figure about another 8 ounces of water for each 20 minutes of vigorous activity. Remember, you lose lots of water while you sweat.
  • Particularly hot and particularly cold. Weather can also cause you to become dehydrated. Be sure to drink enough water during extreme temperatures.
  • If you consume lots of fiber in your daily diet, ensure you get enough water. This helps the fiber freely flow through your G.I. tract.
  • Space your water consumption out over the day. It can be dangerous to drink too much water at one time. You do not want to dilute your critical nutrients and electrolytes.

Do I Need to Maintain This Kind of Water Intake Forever?

The short answer is that if you are losing weight, likely no. You can drop your water intake commensurately. It stands to reason, as you lose body weight, you also need less water, and to some degree, that is true. Just remember, as you lose body weight after bariatric surgery, you’re probably also working out significantly more or at least being far more active than before. Whether it’s long walks, runs, or going to the gym and lifting weights, you are using your muscles much more than before. This requires an increased intake of water to ensure everything functions normally.

There are two ways to tell if you’re not getting enough water. First is thirst. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Get ahead of your thirst and keep a steady flow of water intake. Second is the color of your urine. You probably haven’t consumed enough water if it’s any darker than light yellow or straw. Again, staying ahead with your water intake will avoid this problem.

The Bottom Line

Water can be your best friend after bariatric surgery when consumed appropriately and in the proper quantity. It can help moderate your appetite while making you feel physically and mentally fresh. Follow the advice and consideration we provide in our postoperative packet to ensure that you stay safe and healthy after your procedure.

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