Staying hydrated is critical to all of us human beings. It’s critical after bariatric surgery and an essential part of our journey to lifelong wellness. A lack of adequate fluid can be devastating and lead to dehydration.
Staying hydrated, primarily with water as your primary go-to fluid, is critical, especially when you are perspiring as a result of your exercise program. There are so many benefits of drinking pure water. If you don’t love water but try to think more positively about this miraculous liquid, you might grow to love it.
Important Benefits of Hydration After Bariatric Surgery
- Water keeps your skin moisturized, which can help with sagging skin issues that are a consequence of rapid weight loss.
- Water lubricates your joints. Our knees aren’t the greatest as a result of those years being obese.
- Water removes toxins from the body. You, for sure, don’t want to strain your liver and kidneys.
- Water prevents us from retaining fluids.
- Water helps keep blood pressure down.
- Water helps us exercise longer, which is good for our muscles and will help get us to maximum excess weight loss or maintaining the weight already lost.
As a side note, for people who have not undergone weight loss surgery, women need 11 cups of water per day on average, and men need 15. A cup or two 30 minutes before you eat will make you feel fuller so you consume less calories.
“At the International Sports Medicine Institute, we have a formula for daily water intake: 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight if you’re not active (that’s ten eight-ounce glasses if you weigh 160 pounds), and 2/3 ounce per pound if you’re athletic (13 to 14 glasses a day, at the same weight).”
But for us who are traveling the bariatric wellness journey, avoiding liquids for 30 minutes on either side of a meal keeps your food in your digestive tract longer, helping you absorb much-needed nutrients, and also keeps your stomach acid concentrated, which aids in digestion.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which can increase your metabolism—just don’t add sugar.
Fruit-infused water is a great substitute for boring old water. When you love water, it’s easier to get in the recommended 64+ ounces of fluid every day after surgery. You can only drink so many sugar-free drinks, and some folks are not comfortable with artificial sweeteners. Fruit juices have too many calories.
Eight Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated After Bariatric Surgery
- Start your hydration early in the day. Some folks start their morning with lemon water or a ginger mint tea.
- Infuse your water with fruit: lemon, orange, or lime. But use a glass pitcher for a better taste.
- Carry water with you whenever possible. Use a stainless or aluminum bottle if you keep it in your car. Plastic bottles left in automobiles in the hot weather are not good for your health.
- Decide if you’re confusing hunger with thirst and drink up if so.
- Drink flavored water, but beware of the sugar content.
- Put extra bottles of water in your desk at work.
- Download a free App to remind you to hydrate. Some resources are: h=Hidrate Spark 2.0, Waterlogged, Hydro Coach, Aquaalert: Water Tracker, Waterbalance, Daily Water, and Hydrate Daily. Check out a few and decide which suits your fancy.
- Of course, drink water as part of your exercise routine.
Signs of Dehydration
Failing to drink enough can lead to dehydration, which can be serious. According to the WebMD website, signs of dehydration include:
Mild or moderate dehydration:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Not urinating very much
- Dark yellow urine
- Dry, cool skin
- Muscle cramps
- Not urinating or having very dark yellow urine
- Very dry skin
- Feeling dizzy
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Sunken eyes
- Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms.
Recipe for Ginger Mint Water
Drinking enough water is a huge challenge for some. According to Dr. Nicholas Abrashamian, many people are very offended by the chemicals they taste even in bottled and filtered water. Masking your water with fruits and or vegetables, such as cucumber or oranges help. As mentioned earlier, it’s prudent to monitor sugar content, so moderation is key.
One of my favorite infused water recipes is Ginger Mint water, it helps me stay on track!
1 gallon water
2 cups of chopped ginger, washed (don’t peel)
Combine water and ginger in a medium saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes. Add mint to taste and strain.
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London, Denise. The Bariatric Wellness Journey: Your Roadmap to Health, Happiness and Harmony. Denijon Publishing USA, 2018
This article was originally published at ObesityHelp and was written by Denise London, who is an author of The Bariatric Wellness Journey, a blogger, bariatric surgery veteran, co-creator of FABS fitness program and wellness product developer. Denise had gastric bypass in 2010 and over the course of her journey, she learned that bariatric wellness is about much more than eating healthy and staying active—it’s about taking care of the inner and outer you.