March 5, 2014

Drinking After Bariatric Surgery – Water That Is

Yes, it’s true, drinking alcohol after bariatric surgery is not recommended, but drinking plenty of water is a must. Why? Water is important for our bodies, surgery or not, but good hydration offers plenty of benefits after bariatric surgery.

First warding off dehydration will help ensure that you only eat when you’re truly hungry. A phenomenon called head hunger, where feelings of hunger are actually caused by thirst, can make you eat far more calories than you actually need. Head hunger is a problem that can cause weight gain both before and after surgery.

Proper hydration will also help with digestion and gastrointestinal regularity – helping keep your GI tract in balance and in top working order. A common concern after surgery is constipation and water is part of the solution.

Finally, water can help get you off the couch and moving. It is a very powerful refresher and can help activate the energy that dehydration saps from your body.

Some tips to remember. Don’t drink water with a meal. For gastric bypass patients, this may cause an uncomfortable condition called dumping syndrome. For other patients, i.e. gastric banding and gastric sleeve, water with food may cause you to eat too little at mealtime. Rather, drink your water between meals and don’t drink within 45 minutes before or after a meal. If you have trouble drinking enough water (your surgeon or dietician will tell you how much) you can make it a bit tastier by adding some sugar free flavoring. However try to consume water alone whenever possible – that’s always the healthiest way.

2016, Bariatric Specialists of North Carolina, a part of the EmergeOrtho network
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