How to keep hydrated after surgery

  • Post by
  • Mar 31, 2020

Most bariatric patients know that maintaining hydration is important after surgery but dehydration is still a common reason why patients are readmitted to hospital.

Common hydration issues

  • Having to separate food and fluids by at least 30 minutes
  • No longer being able to drink large volumes of fluid in one go, especially in the early stages post surgery
  • Finding water sits ‘heavily’ or tastes ‘funny’ after surgery
  • Fear of getting caught out without a toilet
  • The nature of different jobs e.g. being unable to take fluids into the working environment
  • Forgetting to drink

Benefits of hydration

  • Reduced headaches
  • Improved concentration, attention and memory
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Improved mood
  • Help with bowel function
  • Reducing the risk of kidney stones
  • Reducing the desire to snack

Tip to stay hydrated

  1. Use the 3-5 hours between meals to sip away on fluids

  2. Carry a drink bottle with you, aim to get through one by midday and another before dinner

  3. Utilise the water cooler at work to refill your bottle OR speak to your manager about getting one for the office if there is not already one available

  4. Track your intake – the ‘Waterlogged’ app can be a great way of tracking your intake, simply hit the bottle each time you finish a cup of fluid

  5. Set reminders

    a. The ‘Baritastic’ app has a water reminder section that you can set up
    b. Install ‘Take a break’ on your computer – this is designed to give your eyes a

    screen break, but can also be used as a reminder to take a sip of fluid 20 minutes. Link here.

    c. Or simply set some alarms on your phone
  6. If toilet stops are a worry during the day, utilise time in the morning or after finishing work to top up your intake. Aim to finish a glass of water as soon as you get home

  7. Change the surface tension and make water more interesting by adding:

    a. Herbal/fruit tea bags – serve hot or cold with added ice
    b. Slices of fresh lemon, lime, or orange
    c. Classic combos such as mint and cucumber, lemon and raspberries or

    strawberries and lime

  8. Add extra water to your protein shake/breakfast smoothie in the morning

  9. Have a cup of miso soup mid morning or afternoon

  10. If you are feeling hungry, before reaching for a snack, consider how much fluid you’ve had across the day and try having a drink before reassessing your hunger levels