Maintaining Hydration after Bariatric Surgery
Written by Haley Eshelman, RDN, LDN, a Mayo Clinic registered Dietitian.
Maintaining hydration after bariatric surgery can be a challenge. With barriers like nausea, fullness, busy schedules, and limited portions it can be tricky to meet the daily recommended amount.
It is important to stay on track with your goal to prevent dehydration, which is a common problem after bariatric surgery. Common symptoms include extreme thirst, less frequent urination, dark-colored urine, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. Consider using the following tips to encourage additional fluid intake:
- Set a daily goal – it is recommended to consume at least 64 ounces of hydrating fluids per day unless otherwise directed.
- Always keep a water bottle on hand – this will act as a reminder to drink, even when busy.
- Set a reminder – Utilize resources such as a smart watch, cell phone, or Alexa device as a reminder to drink. An alarm can be a helpful way to encourage us to break up our normal routine.
- Pair it with something else – For example, every time you send an email at work, take a drink. Or every time you enter the kitchen plan to drink a certain amount. Eventually, this will become an easy habit and you won’t have to think twice!
- Use hydration reminders - Hidratespark water bottles or Ulla hydration reminders provide the extra nudge to pick up your bottle and drink. Some devices light up, vibrate, or play music when it is time to drink.
- Use an app –Try hydration apps such as Water Reminder – Daily Tracker or My Water – Water Tracker to set daily water goals and track progress.
- Make it fun - Find a fun water bottle or mug that encourages you to pick it up and drink more often.
- Add flavor - Try fruit-infused water by adding lemon, lime, or cucumber to switch up the flavor without adding excess calories. Or try sugar-free flavor packets such as Crystal light or Mio.
- Time it - Drink at regular intervals between meals. For example, purchase a small sipping cup and aim for 2 ounces of liquid every 15 minutes outside of mealtimes.
- Challenge a friend – planning friendly competition can get you motivated to stay on track with your fluid goals.
How do you stay hydrated?