It’s common knowledge that water is vital for your health, but many of us reach for anything else to quench our thirst. Coffee, tea, soda, juice, and sports drinks are the typical go-to options, but they’re often counterproductive. Coffee, tea, and soda are all diuretics because they contain caffeine, which will ultimately dehydrate you.
The high sugar content of these drinks can also contribute to dehydration. When you introduce sugar into your bloodstream, your body needs more water to balance it. As a result, your brain sends out signals urging you to drink. If you don’t reach for water, the thirst cycle will continue.
The Importance of Water After Bariatric Surgery
Dehydration is the leading cause of rehospitalization after bariatric surgery. Many adults struggle to drink the recommended eight glasses of water per day, and this challenge increases after a bariatric procedure. You won’t be able to gulp down a bottle of water in one sitting due to your new anatomy. You will need to take frequent sips of water throughout the day to maintain adequate hydration.
However, water conveys several benefits beyond meeting basic health needs. Some of the greatest benefits of drinking more water include:
- Improved weight loss. The primary goal of bariatric surgery is to lose weight to improve your health. Drinking water can help expedite this goal for several reasons. For instance, many people often mistake thirst for hunger. They reach for a snack, which won’t solve the hydration issue. If you reach for water first, you may find your hunger was really thirst. You’ll also need to consume fewer calories after weight loss surgery, which makes water the superior beverage of choice. It has zero calories, which will help you avoid drinking empty calories.
- Reduced headaches and brain fog. Your body provides several subtle clues when you’re dehydrated. Feeling sluggish or irritable are early signs that you need more water. Given enough time, you’ll develop a headache from dehydration as well. Drinking enough water throughout the day can mitigate these issues, as well as boost your energy, focus, and mood.
- Constipation relief. Bariatric procedures alter or affect how your body digests food. Constipation is a possible side effect while you acclimate to these changes. While you can take fiber supplements or make dietary adjustments to alleviate constipation, your body needs adequate water to process food.
- Improved complexion. Air pollution, stress, or cosmetics can all create skin problems, and you can add dehydration to that list. Drinking enough water improves your skin’s elasticity, which means it’s less likely to crack. Cracks due to dehydration cause irritation and blemishes. While water can’t replace your skincare routine, it can make a notable difference in your skin’s appearance.
- Improved muscle strength and function. Regular exercise is critical for successful long term weight loss after bariatric surgery. However, muscle cramps can stop you in your tracks and dissuade you from committing to your workouts. One of the leading causes of muscle cramping is dehydration. Staying hydrated before and during your workout can prevent cramps, which will allow your muscles to function properly and improve in strength.
Staying hydrated is essential after bariatric surgery, and you will need to make a conscious effort to drink enough water throughout the day. If you need a boost of flavor, you can try adding lemon slices or infusing your water with fruit. Your doctor will give you specific advice on your dietary and hydration needs prior to your surgery, as well as answer any questions you may have. Contact us to learn more about bariatric surgery to achieve your weight loss goals.