Just because you have a smaller stomach and will be taking in less food does not mean that you will need less water. Getting in enough fluid is one of the greatest challenges that patients can face.
No matter which weight loss surgery you had, or if you have not had surgery, you need a mini-mum of 2 liters of water a day to maintain your health. You will sweat a lot of that out, even if you are sleeping. The more active you are, the more you will need water.
Signs that you might not have enough water include: headache, muscle cramps, fatigue, low grade fevers (to 99), constipation, and even confusion.
Not getting enough water can be deadly. Last year a medical student died hiking the Grand Canyon because she didn’t drink enough water.
Water is not only needed for living, it can be a useful tool to shut down hunger pangs. One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University study.
Lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue
Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80 percent of sufferers. Most patients call their physician complaining of muscle cramps when they begin some moderate activity. Their concern is that they may have an electrolyte problem, such as not enough potassium, or not enough calcium. Usually the problem is simply not getting enough water. If you develop cramps when you exercise, you are probably not getting in enough fluids.
A mere two percent drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen. This is not much water. Often in the early post operative period patients complain of being overly tired and not having enough energy.
Constipation occurs when patients do not drink enough fluids
The colon is in charge of recycling water—leading to constipation. Even if you think you are drinking a lot of fluid, remember—if you are constipated, you are either not drinking enough fluid, and probably not eating enough fiber.
If you eat and drink at the same time you may be forcing food out of your pouch and into your gut, which leads to more hunger. If you are hungry after eating, and you have been drinking, this may be the reason. This means you have to drink more slowly when you eat. Drink only very small sips.
Sipping your fluids is the best. Not gulping and not chugging. You can sip a teaspoon of liquid every five minutes while awake and remain hydrated.
There are a number of alternatives to water for fluid. However, there are two things to remember: some liquids contain unwanted calories and some may cause more dehydration. Alcohol is the only fluid that will cause you to lose more fluid than you drink. While the use of carbonated beverages is controversial, there is no doubt that some lightly carbonated waters will help thirst a great deal. Coffee and tea are mild diuretics, but are not as significant as alcohol.
One new goal, and project, is to make certain you are getting sufficient water daily
People whose kidneys don’t work have to limit their fluid, which is the opposite of everyone else. Jean was a great dialysis nurse who suggested they measure their fluid intake. You cannot manage what you do not measure. She encouraged patients to have a large container that measures quarts, and whenever they drank anything—juice, water, coffee, to pour an equal amount of water into the container. This way they knew how much that they drank in a day.
This also works well for the rest of us. Every time that you drink something, pour an equal amount of water into a measuring container until you know you have reached your goal. But, we want you to drink more water than the two quarts. As with all habits, you will have to measure what you drink until drinking that amount of liquid is your habit.