What to Drink After Surgery:
You've Got Options

spa water

Water OR Any Low Calorie, Sugar Free, Non-Carbonated Drink "Counts" As Fluid

Knowing what to drink after surgery and having a variety of options will help keep you from getting dehydrated. Your body's need for fluid doesn't change just because the size of your stomach is smaller after a weight loss procedure.

It's ok if you don't like water per se, because any low calorie, sugar free, non-carbonated beverages are ok to use toward your 64 ounce daily fluid goal.

You see, it's a "fluid" goal you have, not necessarily a "water" goal. Thankfully there are plenty of options if you're not a water lover.

Your body’s need for fluid doesn’t change just because the size of your stomach is reduced with bariatric surgery.

What to Drink After Surgery

unsweetened beverages
  • Water: Try different temperatures to improve tolerance: ice cold, room temperature, or warm/hot water
  • Alkaline Water (“pH water”)
  • “Fruit Infused Water”/ “Spa Water:” water + added slices of fruits/vegetable and/or herbs or spices (cucumber, oranges, blueberries, mint, ginger, etc.) 
  • Water + True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange or True Grapefruit
  • Herbal tea (Chamomile, Mint, etc.)
  • Decaffeinated tea- hot or cold
  • Hint water
  • Broth, Bouillon (Chicken, Vegetable, Beef)
  • Miso

I call these "best" choices because they DON'T Contain Artificial Sweeteners

It's best to avoid chemicals in your food whenever possible! Also, your taste perception may change after surgery and drinks that are artificially sweetened may taste hyper-sweet post op, so you'll need these "best" choices. 

What to Drink After Surgery

Any sugar free, non carbonated beverage with less than 10 calories:

  • Propel
  • Crystal Light
  • Sugar Free/Zero Calorie Sports Drinks like Powerade Zero, Gatorade Zero
  • Vitamin Water Zero
  • Bai
  • Sugar free flavored waters

I call these "acceptable" because they'll help you hydrate, but they CONTAIN Artificial Sweeteners

Note: Just about everything will taste too sweet after surgery. You may need to use more water or add crushed ice to dilute these beverages post op in order to be able to tolerate them. OR, use the "best choices" noted above.

Have a Plan

It’s harder to drink 64 ounces of daily fluid after bariatric surgery, but it’s possible with planning and discipline.

Even if you find beverages you like to drink, staying hydrated after surgery isn’t as easy as it was beforehand because your stomach is so much smaller. 

Dehydration is the #1 cause of readmission post op due to dehydration.

Before surgery, you may have been able to slam down a drink in seconds flat when you felt thirsty. But you simply won’t be able to do that anymore, especially in the first few days and weeks post op.

MUST HAVE: Top 5 Water Tips/Hydration Strategies

What NOT to Drink After Surgery

In the early months post op, avoid carbonated drinks.  And always avoid drinks that have more than 5-10 calories.

This includes:

  • Soda
  • Sugar Tea
  • Fruit Juice
  • Full Sugar Sports Drinks
  • Coffee drinks
  • Fruit “Smoothies”
  • Horchata

What to Drink After Surgery: FAQs

Q: Can I Drink Coffee?

A: Coffee CAN cause stomach irritation after surgery but it’s ok in small amounts once your stomach has healed. See all the details about caffeine here.  

Q: Can I Drink with Meals?

A: Drink water and eat meals at separate time to keep from filling up too quickly. Try to separate eating and drinking by 15-30 minutes. 

Q: Can I use a straw?

A: Urban legends abound regarding straws! Get the lowdown about whether or not you can use a straw.

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