Perioperative fluid management of the colorectal surgical patient has evolved significantly over the last five decades. Older notions espousing aggressive hydration have been shown to be associated with increased complications. Newer data regarding fluid restriction has shown an association with improved outcomes. Management of perioperative fluid administration can be considered in three primary phases: In the preoperative phase, data suggests that avoidance of preoperative bowel preparation and avoidance of undue preoperative dehydration can improve outcomes. Although the type of intraoperative fluid given does not have a significant effect on outcome, data do suggest that a restrictive fluid regimen results in improved outcomes. Finally, in the postoperative phase of fluid management, a fluid-restrictive regimen, coupled with early enteral feeding also seems to result in improved outcomes.