After a weight loss procedure, such as the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty or Orbera weight loss balloon placement, making sure you stay well hydrated is one of our top priorities! During recovery, it is very important to stay on top of fluid intake in order to avoid dehydration. Keep reading for strategies and recommendations for staying well hydrated during your recovery and beyond.
Signs of Dehydration
Be aware of the following signs of dehydration:
- Dark or decreased urine
- Dry skin or dry mouth
- Low energy and irritability
If you cannot keep fluids down, or if you are experiencing signs of dehydration let your healthcare team know immediately. Drinking adequate fluids is key to a successful recovery after your weight loss procedure. Hydrate often and hydrate well!
Adequate Fluids for Hydration
Although each person’s fluids needs are somewhat individual, most people need at least 64oz of fluids per day after their procedure. Take slow slips and avoid drinking with a straw or gulping water. On the day of your procedure, you will advance from NPO (nothing by mouth) to clear liquids. Try to drink 1-2oz of clear liquids every 15-20 minutes. Eventually you will work up, as tolerated, to meet a goal of 64 oz of clear fluids each day. Due to your smaller stomach, it may be hard to get all 64oz in initially. The key is to drink slowly and steadily throughout the day.
After the initial recovery period, when you resume normal activities, you may find that you need more fluids to stay hydrated, depending on your body size, activity level and how much you sweat. If you start to experience any signs of dehydration, increase your fluid intake.
Sip on the Right Beverages
Certain beverages are to be avoided after your weight loss procedure as they can cause uncomfortable symptoms or impede weight loss. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated and carbonated beverages, and all sugary beverages with more than 5 calories per serving. Caffeine and alcohol can irritate the stomach and contribute to dehydration. Carbonation can also upset the stomach. Drinking sugary drinks can contribute to weight regain. Sip on these alternatives instead.
- Vegetable, Chicken or Beef broth
- Sugar free jello
- Decaffeinated tea or coffee
- Vitamin water zero, HINT water, Fruit 2-0
- Mio, Crystal Light or True Lemon packets mixed with water
- Low sugar sports drinks, such as propel or G2 Gatorade
- Sugar free popsicles (<25 calories each)
- Ensure Clear
- Premier Protein Clear
Time Your Liquids Right
It’s very important to avoid drinking while eating solid foods, as liquids can flush food out of your stomach, and make you feel hungrier too soon. Sip liquids between meals instead of with meals. Avoid drinking fluids while you are eating, and for 30 minutes after you finish a meal. While you are on the full liquid diet, protein shakes can count towards up to half of your fluid needs. However, in order to stay hydrated, you still need to drink at least 32-48 oz of clear liquids in addition to your protein shakes.
Tips to Stay Hydrated After Your Weight Loss Procedure
It can be hard to stay on top of fluids. Follow these tips to help you stay on top of your fluid needs.
- Set a reminder on your phone or timer to go off every 15 minutes to remind you to drink.
- Keep a water bottle nearby at all times.
- Keep a water bottle by your bed and start drinking calorie free fluids when you first wake up.
- Try other clear liquids besides water to keep it interesting. See below for a list of acceptable alternatives
- Avoid straws, as they can introduce air into your stomach.