What to Drink After Surgery:
You've Got Options

spa water

Are you wondering "what to drink after surgery"? Look no further, my thirsty friend! I’ve got the answers to all your post-surgery hydration needs.

First things first, let's get the boring stuff out of the way: water is your best bet.

But maybe you're not a water person, and that's okay too. "What to drink after surgery" doesn't have to be limited to just H2O. Any low-calorie, sugar-free, non-carbonated drink "counts" as fluid towards your daily 64 ounce goal.

Great Options

unsweetened beverages
  • Water: Try different temperatures to improve tolerance: ice cold, room temperature, or warm/hot water
  • Water + True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange or True Grapefruit (it's a flavor packet of dehydrated lemon, lime, etc)
  • Hint water (it's a brand!)


  • Herbal tea (Chamomile, Mint, etc.)
  • Decaffeinated tea- hot or cold
  • Broth, Bouillon (Chicken, Vegetable, Beef)
  • Miso

And don't even get me started on "fruit infused water" AKA "spa water" - I mean, who doesn't love a good cucumber-mint water:

  • water + added slices of fruits/vegetable and/or herbs or spices (cucumber, oranges, blueberries, mint, ginger, etc.) 

Ideally steer clear of drinks with artificial sweeteners, because let's be real, who needs more chemicals in their life?...That being said...

...if they help you get and stay hydrated, then drink up:

What to Drink After Surgery
Acceptable Options:

Sugar free, non carbonated beverage with less than 10 calories, like these:

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

If you find yourself tipping back a sugar-free sports drink and thinking "wow, this is way too sweet," don't worry, it's not just you. Your taste buds may change post-surgery, so everything tastes HYPER sweet. Simply dilute these beverages or use more ice if necessary to make them tolerable.

Phew, now that that's settled, let's talk about the real important stuff: the deliciousness that is alkaline water (aka, "pH-water").

What to Drink After Surgery:
Top Pick = Alkaline Water

If you think you don't like the taste of water...

...drink different water....Alkaline water (pH water).

It.Just.Tastes.Better. Try it and see! In my professional opinion it's the BEST answer to the question "what to drink after surgery?!"

It's my personal favorite and I'm not just saying that because I invested in a fancy machine that attaches to my tap, so I never have to lug heavy jugs of water home or contribute to plastic waste. My whole family is obsessed with alkaline water. It's like we all turned into water snobs overnight.

My mom even went into the business of selling the alkaline water machines because she loves it so much. It's her passion and she can help you own one too if you want to join the alkaline water cult...ehem...I mean, community.

The Elephant in the Room: Cost

Sure, the initial price tag may give you a mini heart attack (or major), but don't panic!

If you do the math and add up how much you'll spend on buying endless water bottles for the rest of your life (because let's be real, staying hydrated is forever) it turns out to be less expensive to invest in a top-of-the-line machine for your tap. Convenience at its finest! Plus, think about the back injuries you'll save yourself from, by not having to lug those heavy water jugs home.

Just check out mom's Kangen water website for more info and tell her I sent you for some extra brownie points with yours truly.

Bonus points for me, double bonus for you with the best tasting water from your own kitchen tap and the ability to stay hydrated like a pro. Your taste buds will be doing a happy dance for sure.

Staying Hydrated After Surgery Is Like Learning to Walk Again

Let’s be real...You stomach is smaller now and chugging 64 ounces of fluid in one sitting just ain't happening. Dehydration is the #1 cause of readmission post op. And who wants frequent flyer miles at the hospital?!

That's why it's important to have a plan. Here are my top 5 water tips/hydration strategies to ensure you stay on track. Spoiler alert: Sip, sip hooray will become a favorite tune.

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

And finally, a quick word on...

What NOT to Drink After Surgery

So, sorry soda, fruit juice, sugar tea, full sugar energy drinks/sports drinks, coffee drinks, and horchata lovers, it's just not in the cards.

But don't worry, there's always decaf coffee as an option (just make sure it's in small amounts and only after your stomach has healed).

Now go forth and stay hydrated!

What to Drink After Surgery: FAQs

Q: Can I Drink Coffee?

A: 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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