Navigating Hydration After Weight Loss Surgery

We are told constantly to stay hydrated, especially after bariatric surgery. Do you really know why?

Thirsty? Your body may be trying to tell you something, so listen up! The importance of keeping hydrated is super dooper important! 

When the sensation of thirst is triggered, your body is asking for a refill. Why? Water is responsible for keeping your entire body functioning and keeping it in an optimal homeostasis state (it’s happy place) and we are roughly 60 % water (NCBI).

Yep, you need it to live and function.

We can only survive for a short few days without water and the effects of dehydration can be critical for most of our organs and body systems (Mayo clinic) – a situation to definitely avoid.

After bariatric surgery, our ability to drink as much and as quickly as we once did, just can’t happen. The key to getting in our 1.5 – 2 litres per day is to have your drink bottle with you all day and sipping regularly. Aim to have 800 mls to 1 litre before lunch and then repeat in the afternoon and evening. YAY goal reached, you achieved your daily fluid intake.

I make up my daily fluids by having the following. Please note, I don’t have carbonated drinks because; 

  1. A) Highly recommended that we don’t as they cause issues with our adjusted tummies and
  2. B) I don’t like the feeling of the bubbles going down anymore – win win.
  • my morning coffee made on half milk (one scoop of tasteless protein powder)
  • 700 ml drink bottle with water, ice and about 150mls of fresh orange juice (one scoop of tasteless protein powder) 
  • cup of tea
  • another 700 ml drink bottle of either flavoured protein water or just plain water
  • herbal tea at night
    **depending on my day, I may sneak an additional coffee in 😊 

According to Mayo Clinic, here are some facts on what water does for our bodies.

  • Carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
  • Flushing bacteria from your bladder
  • Aiding digestion
  • Preventing constipation
  • Normalising blood pressure 
  • Cushioning joints
  • Protecting organs and tissues 
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance

In my previous life, I was a beauty therapist for over 10 years (once a beauty therapist, always a beauty therapist) so healthy skin was my business!  I can’t emphasise enough, the importance of keeping well hydrated for the health of our skin, after all our skin is our largest organ and has very important protective functions for us. 

p.s. I also regularly spritz my skin with hydrating face tonics which are full of hyaluronic acid which helps with plumping the skin 😊

Tips on staying hydrated –

  • Try adding ice to your drinks. I know prior to having my surgery, I couldn’t stand cold drinks, but post-surgery, they are the only way I like my drinks – lots of ice.
  • Experiment with putting different fruits in your drink bottle i.e. strawberries. Kiwi fruit, lemon or orange pieces, cucumber, blueberries
  • When at home, have a fancy glass to drink from
  • When making a smoothy, try coconut water as coconut water has electrolytes and include potassium, sodium and manganese. The amounts vary by brand. Just remember, coconut water does contain calories whereas good old H2O has no calories and is always the better choice
  • When drinking caffeinated drinks, these are diuretics, so remember to increase your fluid intake to help compensate the increase in urination that caffeine can cause.
  • Experiment with some herbal teas, I love one called Summer Sangria – it’s caffeine free – apple pieces, orange and lemon, cinnamon and hibiscus flowers – delicious served cold or hot

Till next time, keep sipping to stay well hydrated.

Tash Fitzgerald RN – Bariatric Nurse Educator

Reference –; viewed 01/11/2023


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