Preparing for Surgery with ClearFast: Your Top 5 Questions Answered
One of the most exciting things about ClearFast is that our team gets to be on the forefront of a major shift in the way the medical industry looks at preparing for surgery—we’re now at a time where doctors are recommending patients nourish and hydrate before surgery instead of offering up the old-fashioned advice to fast after midnight (you can read more about that shift here.)
Being on the front lines of this exciting new medical research and overall shift in pre-surgery practices means we also have a number of questions to answer from eager patients. We hear, time and time again, from patients who are ready to undergo and awake from anesthesia feeling stronger and calmer—but who still have some questions about how ClearFast works when preparing for surgery. Today, then, we’re answering your top five ClearFast questions.
1. Can I drink ClearFast if I have diabetes?
We get this one all of the time, and we’ll start by saying that every patient is different and that it’s always best to talk to your doctor. That being said, more and more research has shown that preparing for surgery with diabetes can be made more comfortable and safe with the simple addition of a clear, complex-carb preop drink like ClearFast. There are four main reasons ClearFast makes for safer, more comfortable surgery for diabetics:
- It protects your critical glycogen stores: By providing your body the complex carbs it needs for energy, drinking ClearFast before surgery helps to ensure your body isn’t using up all of those ever-important glycogen stores.
- It takes into account a diabetic’s ongoing nutritional requirements: By working ClearFast into your surgery prep routine and closely monitoring your blood sugar levels as part of the prep process, you’re working with—rather than completely ignoring—your body’s critical nutritional requirements.
- It reduces your chance of pre-op complications: Prolonged fasting before surgery for diabetics induces a catabolic state where the body first exhausts its limited hepatic glycogen stores and then proceeds to breakdown fat and muscle as alternative energy sources. This can ultimately lead to complications like hypoglycemia and even ketoacidosis (a serious complication that develops when your body can’t produce enough insulin). Preparing your body for surgery with ClearFast helps to reduce the risk of using up all of those important glycogen stores and ending up in one of those two unsafe states.
- It reduces your chance of post-op complications: Numerous studies have found that pre-op carb-loading with a complex carb-rich, clear preop drink like ClearFast can reduce your risk of post-op insulin resistance and post-op infections, as well as reduce the occurrence of post-op vomiting—all of which make managing your blood-sugar difficult, posing particular danger for those with diabetes.
Want to know more about preparing for surgery with diabetes using ClearFast? Check out our full break-down here.
2. Does the name ClearFast mean it’s a laxative?
Nope! This is another question we hear often—but, not to fear, the name ClearFast doesn’t mean it clears you out fast. Instead, “ClearFast” refers to the beverage’s osmolarity. In order to be safe to use before surgery, the preop drink you choose should be formulated to clear from your stomach, fast. ClearFast has an ideal osmolarity level, allowing for timely gastric emptying and ultimately—you guessed it—clearing from your stomach, fast. Another great way to think of the name is that it’s a clear liquid for your pre-op fast.
3. What if my doctor tells me to fast before surgery? Can I still ask her or him about ClearFast?
Each surgery and every patient is different, so you should always consult your doctor when it comes to your specific guidelines for preparing for surgery. That being said, there’s tons of research out there that concludes fasting before surgery isn’t the safest option and that patients should, instead, prepare for surgery with a clear, complex carb-rich beverage. We recommend checking out our blog on talking to your doctor about ClearFast before you head to your pre-op appointment.
4. What’s in ClearFast that makes for faster healing?
That’s a great question! ClearFast PreOp is ideally formulated for surgical patients who want to improve recovery after surgery. It contains six essential nutrients (complex carbohydrates, electrolytes, Vitamin A, Selenium, Zinc, L-citrulline) to nourish, hydrate and help heal the body. This unique formula works to:
- Reduce your risk of post-op nausea and vomiting
- Reduce dehydration and hunger
- Ensure easier, less painful IV “sticks”
- Give you an edge on recovery (Zinc and L-citrulline work to heal you faster by promoting healthy circulation and nitric oxide production, while Vitamin-A helps support healthy tissue function—combined, these properties make for a faster, easier recovery process!)
5. Can I just drink a clear sports drink instead?
Not exactly. There are tons of reasons why ClearFast is different from and better than sports drinks when it comes to preparing for surgery (and you can read them all here). Two main reasons sports drinks won’t cut it for enhanced recovery include:
- They contain zero complex carbs: Complex carbs are a key part of ensuring enhanced recovery after surgery. Sports drinks are chock-full of simple sugars, which don’t nourish you when preparing for surgery.
- They have high osmolarity: Osmolarity affects gastric emptying times, and higher osmolarity can mean delayed emptying (which isn’t good when it comes to preparing your body for surgery). A typical sports drink has an osmolarity of around 330 mOsm, which can lead to delayed gastric emptying. ClearFast, on the other hand, has an ideal osmolarity of 270 mOsm and is formulated to safely clear from the stomach in around 90 minutes, making it an ideal choice for pre-op carbohydrate loading.
Have any questions about preparing for surgery with ClearFast that we missed? Check out our FAQs page or contact the ClearFast team! We’re always here and happy to help answer any questions you may have to ensure you get a leg up on recovery.