Water is the most important thing to consume for a human being, especially after gastric sleeve surgery. Drinking water and staying hydrated let us rid the toxins and waste in our body. Dehydration after gastric sleeve surgery is common because the stomach is drastically reduced by up to 85% of its original capacity (size). With a gastric sleeve, patients may not feel the thirst which results in a lack of water intake.

How Important is Staying Hydrated After Gastric Sleeve?

A whopping 70% of the human body is water. Every part of our body needs to function and thrive. When our body is dehydrated, we tend to not function as well and major side effects come as a result. The most common symptom of dehydration after gastric sleeve surgery is thirst, but here is a list of other, less noticeable signs and symptoms. [1]

How Much Water Should You Drink After Gastric Sleeve?

After gastric sleeve surgery, it is extremely important to drink a minimum fluid intake of at least  64 ounces of water each day. You can either drink water or sugar-free/diet beverages.

You can also calculate the amount of fluid you need by dividing your weight by two, with the result being the number of ounces of water intake needed. For example, someone who weighs 180 pounds needs 90 ounces of fluid per day (180/2=90).

For bariatric surgery patients, the recommended water intake is about 64 ounces.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration After Gastric Sleeve

Pay attention to signs of dehydration such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, lethargy, and concentrated (dark) urine. Other tell-tale symptoms include;

  • Thirst for liquid
  • Decrease of urine output
  • Fainting
  • Dry skin

Preventing Dehydration After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

It is highly recommended by both surgeons and our nutritionist to drink a minimum of 48 ounces of water each day, with a goal of 64 ounces of liquids per day to prevent dehydration. The standard size of bottled water is 16.9 ounces, which equates to requiring just under 4 bottles of water in order to prevent dehydration.

How Much Water Should You Drink After Gastric Sleeve - Dehydration After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

If you keep getting dehydrated after gastric sleeve, here are tips;

  • Sip Sip Sip! That is what we always tell gastric sleeve patients. Continuously sipping small amounts of water throughout the day.
  • Sport drink bottles with measurements on the side will help ensure you are drinking enough liquid. Remember, you will not be able to gulp liquids so you will want to drink small amounts throughout the day.
  • Drinking beverages and sugar-free liquids that contain electrolytes, like Gatorade or Vitamin Water.
  • Eating sugar-free popsicles
  • Receiving IV fluids (may be necessary if dehydration is severe)

How to Avoid Dehydration After Gastric Sleeve

Avoid drinks that are high in caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated.

  • Caffeine is acidic, and it can irritate the lining of your stomach pouch or sleeve. These include energy drinks. Learn about drinking coffee after gastric sleeve surgery.
  • An enzyme for digesting alcohol after gastric sleeve is greatly reduced, making alcohol consumption bad for the body.
  • Avoid all carbonated beverages (fills the stomach with gas), sugar (extra calories that fight
    against weight loss), and coffee (it is acidic and may have problems with acid reflux after
    surgery. It is also a diuretic, causing you to be dehydrated).
  • Risks of dehydration can also be increased by diabetes, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea.[2]

Making an effort to drink water and other fluids to slow fluid loss is essential to prevent dehydration in adults after sleeve gastrectomy, RNY gastric bypass, or any bariatric weight loss surgery in general. Water is also essential to maintaining good nutrition.