Water is an essential component, one which, we are unable to live without. In fact, water makes up 75% of the human brain, 82% of blood and 90% of our lungs.
Much like protein, water plays an important role in a number of functions in the body. Water helps aid good digestion, production of new cells, removal of toxins and aids regulation of body temperature – just a few from a very long list!
Another benefit that has been proven is that drinking water can aid weight loss.
As water is used as part of so many different bodily functions, it is easily lost. For example, sweating and breathing are two unavoidable ways in which water exits our body. If the water is not replenished you can become dehydrated. By the time you feel thirsty your body is already dehydrated.
Dehydration can negatively affect your mood, attention, memory and coordination.
What to look out for, signs of dehydration:
- Thirst sensation
- Dry skin
- Decrease in urine
Our bodies have difficulty differentiating thirst from hunger. Therefore, if you don’t consume enough water throughout the day, you are more likely to consume more food than you need.
After weight loss surgery water is very important, as it is essential for the healing process. Adequate intake of water can increase the sensation of fullness and to eliminate waste products from the body.
Bariatric surgery reduces the size of your stomach, so food and fluid intake are impacted. Some bariatric patients may struggle to get enough fluids throughout the day. Here are some tips that you might find useful to help ensure you don’t become dehydrated:
- Take a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go and take sips throughout the day
- Give yourself a ‘prescription’ of fluids; setting yourself a number of cups at set times in the day
- Do not drink while eating. Water can take up a large portion of your stomach, stopping you from getting the essential nutrients from your food
- Avoid carbonated drinks. The gas produced from a carbonated beverage can stretch the pouch
- Sip, sip, sip – do not take big gulps
- Drink after each time you go to the toilet to keep the cycle going
- If you fancy adding a dash of flavour to your water, stick to the natural options such as adding slices of lemon, lime, oranges or even cucumber to your water.
Your clinical team will tell you exactly how much water you need after your surgery. It is important talk to your dietician about your own individual needs and to follow the advice your bariatric team give you.