The Power of Water and Hydration
Did you know, it is estimated that upwards of 75% of Americans, are chronically dehydrated? 75%! That means the ¾ of us feel sluggish more often than we should, eat more than we should and generally keep our bodies working in a less than optimal state, from lack of water.
Yes, water may seem very boring with all those delicious drink options on the market, however, it’s importance cannot be overstated. Water and proper hydration contribute directly to the amount of energy we have during the day, appetite suppression, in the form of avoiding head hunger (when we mistake thirst for hunger), and keep many of our bodily functions – including kidney and bladder function – more stable.
But Water is So Boring – What About Carbonation?
Unfortunately, carbonation is not a good option for bariatric patients. First and foremost, the carbonation quickly fills up the new, smaller stomach pouch, and can cause a great deal of discomfort until it is released. Second, the constant stretching of the stomach pouch, due to the carbonation, can promote permanent dilation. This will allow patients to eat more food, which can lead to weight gain, or even the need for a stomach pouch revision.
Can I Drink Anything Other Than Water?
Absolutely. We want to eliminate sugar consumption, in drinks, completely. Although fruit juice and sweet tea, soda are off the table, you do have some latitude with other drinks. For example, coconut water, with no added sweetener, can be a good option for hydration. Coconut water contains important electrolytes that get diluted when we drink too much water. Just be sure to compare the nutritional labels on the various coconut waters available as they can be significantly different when it comes to sugar.
Unsweetened tea is an alternative to just water. Infused water with lemon, cucumber, fruit, etc., is also a great option.
How Much Water Do I Need To Consume In a Day?
For the average bariatric patient, and this applies to non-bariatric patients as well, 100 ounces of water is a good rule of thumb. However, this is the absolute minimum. Particularly active patients, who sweat a lot during the day, will require more to stay hydrated.
Is It Possible To Overdo It?
Yes. We do not suggest drinking gallons and gallons of water each day. You take the risk of diluting important salt and electrolytes, in your body, which can be harmful, if not fatal. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated, is something that needs to be consistently maintained each day. If you force yourself to drink too much water, too soon, you’ll make it that much harder to sustain proper hydration, long-term.
Do You Have Any Other Thoughts or Tricks?
Be mindful of when you consume your water. You’ll probably notice that when you wake up in the morning, you’re very thirsty. You will have eliminated a good amount of water through sweat, overnight. It’s a great idea to have a big glass of water, when you first wake up. Drinking water, through out the day, and up until mealtime, is a good way to stay hydrated and eat better. Be sure not to drink water along with your meal, unless instructed to, by doctor, as this can fill you up too quickly.
No matter how you choose to consume your water, make sure that you do it day in and day out. Water is a key component, to your weight loss success. It also helps you feel better, and stay energized.
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