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Learn why hydration is important to your dietStaying hydrated is important for everybody, whether they're trying to lose weight or not. In fact, most of the human body is made of water, so making sure to drink enough water throughout the day is extremely important. A great go-to source for hydration, water is a zero-calorie thirst quencher that provides a number of benefits for the body.

"Water is essential for a number of our bodily functions, including digestion," says Comprehensive Obesity Management (COMP) dietitian Rebecca Myrowitz, MHS, RD, LDN. "Your goal is to drink 64 ounces, or eight cups, or fluids per day." To achieve this fluid goal, it is acceptable to drink low-calorie beverages, such as crystal light, in addition to water, but carbonated beverages and soda should not be used as substitutes.

"At this point, you should be gradually eliminating soda from your diet," explains Rebecca. "After surgery, your stomach will be significantly smaller, and the carbonation from soda can cause it to stretch. Since soda is full of empty calories and doesn't have any beneficial nutritional value, now is a good time to start investigating low-calorie options that will really help keep you hydrated."

Note that on hot, humid days, or when you have increased activity from exercise, work or play, you will likely need to increase your intake of water. "Maintaining hydration becomes increasingly important as you begin your exercise routine to get your body ready for surgery," says Rebecca, who suggests being cautious about using sports drinks for electrolytes. "G2 and Powerade Zero are OK to drink, but patients should keep in mind that if they have high blood pressure, they should limit these beverages due to the sodium content."

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