Tips to Stay Hydrated after WLS

Medically Reviewed by Katelyn J. Mock, US-Registered Dietician (R.D.)

Staying hydrated is the foremost catalyst for losing weight after weight loss surgery. Hydration curbs hunger. Did you know that thirst is perceived as hunger most of the time?



Bariatric surgery patients may find that they have less tolerance for extreme temperatures and can only tolerate water at room temperature. This is not a problem because it is the best for quenching thirst.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)[1]“Life after Bariatric Surgery” American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)
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, it is important to drink 64 ounces of fluids every day after gastric sleeve, gastric bypass or any other weight loss surgery to avoid dehydration. Some of the symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Hard stools
  • Dizziness, especially when sitting down or standing up
  • White, slimy coating on the tongue
  • Lower backache
  • Dark-colored urine.

It is important to note that loss of fluids on account of vomiting can result in dehydration and may require administration of fluids intravenously.

 How to Hydrate Post-Op?

Most of you would be advised to put yourself on a fluid-intake of at least 64 ounces.

  1. Have 20 ounces in the first 4 hours of your day, after you wake up.
  2. Measure out your fluids for the day and drink them at a steady pace over the day.
  3. You could also take an assessment. For example, after 4 hours, are you down 20 ounces? If you are below the limit, then sit down for a minute and sip one teaspoon at a time. Take a small sip every 20-30 seconds.
  4. Be mindful of what you’re getting. This will help you later when you can tolerate more liquids and foods.

You will think more about food and drink during the time of your strict diets. Please note that you’ll be able to eat and drink normally a year after your surgery. This is not lifelong!

Post-Op Hydration Guidelines

  • Right after surgery, your pouch is small and you need to give yourself time to adjust to it. You may have to build tolerance for most foods again.
  • Take half an hour to an hour to sip your water slowly.
  • Wait 30 min after meals to drink water. You’ll prevent any discomfort this way and not stretch your pouch beyond its limit.
  • If you have had a bypass, it can lead to dumping syndrome.

How to Keep Track of Fluid Intake?

Keep a track of the fluid intake after weight loss surgery.

Hydration is important but so is your new stomach.

Measuring Cup for Water

You can measure out 64 ounces of water in a measuring cup and drink from it.

This makes the whole day easier; you don’t have to keep measuring.

You can measure your fluid intake any way you want. Even writing it down after each time will work.

Measuring Other Liquids

If you’re using a measuring cup to measure water and wish to drink other liquids, you can!

Measure the liquid you’re drinking. For example, a protein shake. If you’re drinking 12 ounces of protein shake, dump 12 ounces from your measuring cup.

Protein shakes and other liquids are included in the daily requirement of 64 ounces for hydration.

If you get a metallic taste in your mouth after surgery, don’t be alarmed. This is normal and a lot of bariatric patients experience this.

Tips to Help You Meet Fluid Requirements

Always carry a water bottle with you

You can carry plain water or water infused with lemon, lime or pineapple.

Tea or decaf coffee are good options too.

You have the option of low sugar juice too.

Be cautious of added sugars and caffeinated beverages. Double check your beverages before you buy them.

The caffeine from coffee and different kinds of sodas can actually cause you to urinate more, which makes you lose fluids. So, especially in the summer months, you have to be very mindful of that.

Quick Ways to Rehydrate After Bariatric Surgery

Here are a few suggestions which help your body hydrate faster.

  • Pedialyte
  • Coconut
  • Gatorade
  • Powerade
  • Diluted juices
  • Milk
  • Toledo

Going to the hospital isn’t fun, but dehydration is not something to mess with either. Don’t hesitate to go and get rehydrated at the hospital if you are having trouble doing it at home.

This Post Addresses

  • After gastric bypass diet
  • Signs of dehydration after gastric sleeve surgery
  • How much water should you drink after bariatric surgery?
  • Diet after gastric sleeve (VSG)
  • Tips and tricks for fast hydration

1. “Life after Bariatric Surgery” American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)

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