These proven water tips should be helpful in keeping you from a post op return trip to the hospital!
Your body’s need for fluid doesn’t change just because the size of your stomach is reduced with a weight loss surgery procedure.
However, your new tinny tummy creates a challenge for you, especially early post op. Dehydration is the #1 cause of readmission after bariatric surgery because it’s so much harder to drink the needed 64 ounces of fluid with a smaller stomach.
If you think you don't like the taste of water...
...drink different water. Alkaline water.
All waters are NOT created equally. All water looks alike, but if you test drinking water- bottled or tap- with pH drops (like you use to measure pool water), you can physically see the difference.
"Alkaline water" refers to the chemical pH of water, which is a HUGE determinant of the taste. The pH scale ranges 1-14.
You may see bottled water labels screaming with numbers like "7.0," "8.8," or "9.5." These numbers refer to the pH of the water. Any number over 7.0 = Alkaline water.
And I have to tell you...Alkaline water JUST TASTES BETTER.
I have tremendous success converting self proclaimed "water haters" to consistent "great water drinkers" after trying alkaline water. A simple google image search of "alkaline water" will give you an idea of the various brand names.
Invest in a Bottle
If you invest in a bottle, you're more likely to keep track of it. Disposable water bottles are too easy to leave behind...or to start one, not finish it, then lose it, then get another...and therefore you're never be able to keep track of how much you actually drank.
There are endless reusable water bottles to choose from. It's even common to find ones with marking on them to help you pace your water throughout the day. You're bound to find one you love.
Buy a Bottle or Glass You Enjoy Drinking From
The bottle or glass you choose to drink from can make a BIG difference in how much you drink...or don't drink. Sometimes it's just as simple as picking a great color, a shape that fits just right in your hand or your cup holder, or the right cap/lid that makes drinking easier.
Personally, I barely drink a drop if I have to drink from a glass. I prefer a water bottle. And I have my favorite colors and sizes that I use...
...which brings me to my next point...
It seems to be easier to drink smaller bottles, more frequently, versus larger bottles. A smaller bottle is less overwhelming.
Carry Your Bottle With You at All Times
You can't drink what you don't have. 'Nough said.
Any low calorie, sugar free drink (less than 10 calories) can be used like water to help you reach your 64oz daily fluid goal. While water is certainly the best fluid choice, there are lots of other options!
In the early post op period, sugar free beverages are often easier to drink than water. That being said...
... a very common complaint after surgery, is “Everything Tastes Too Sweet”
What to Do:
Sip, don’t gulp. Drinking too fast can cause stomach pain, bloating, nausea, or vomiting after surgery.
In the beginning, make a goal to sip 1 ounce every 15 minutes. Then repeat.
Drinking 1 ounce every 15 minutes = 4 ounces per hour = 16 ounces in 4 hours = 64 ounces in 16 hours
That's how to meet a 64oz fluid goal when you can't drink very much at one time. So sip, sip, sip all day long in the early post op period! Over time it will get easier to drink a larger volume at one time.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail!”. Plan to drink a certain amount within a certain time frame.
Do the Math
This requires knowing
To Help Stick to Your Plan:
1. Set a Timer to Remind you to Drink:
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Thirst is NOT the correct cue. Simply drink because you have to…even if you’re not thirsty.
2. Stay Accountable by Using an App:
This is my personal hydration strategy and it works like a charm, so of course I love it!
Q: What About Caffeine, Carbonation, and Using a Straw?
Q: Do You Have Any More Water Tips?
A: See my Fluid Drinking Strategies video for additional tips that cover the common post op barriers to drinking.