Are Caffeinated Drinks OK after Bariatric Surgery?

Many of our patients wonder if they can consume caffeinated drinks after their bariatric procedure. The short answer, as with many common postsurgical questions, is yes, but in moderation. Caffeine has several properties that can work against an effective weight loss regimen and can affect post bariatric patient comfort.

  • First, caffeine is a diuretic meaning that it flushes water from your body and can possibly cause dehydration. Since water is so important to post-bariatric surgery success, it is critical that you drink plenty of water in addition to any caffeinated drinks. Don’t believe that you are getting the required amount of water intake from caffeinated drinks alone.
  • Second, caffeine is often found in foods and drinks that may not be ideal for your diet. It is found chocolates and many sodas and is often mixed with sugar as part of a typical cup of coffee or tea. Consuming these can add hundreds of calories to your daily intake. Remember, the problem is not only the caffeine itself, but also the way that the caffeine is consumed.
  • Finally, caffeinated drinks can irritate the stomach pouch when consumed in greater quantities and concentrations. Carbonated, caffeinated beverages can exacerbate the problem as the carbonation can stretch the stomach pouch.

All in all, caffeinated foods and drinks are not the worst offenders in a post bariatric surgery diet. But, they do require control and moderation. If you need a quick boost or truly enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning, it can be a nice addition to your lifestyle – however you may wish to consider a decaf or half-caf option and use less sugar and milk. Understanding that caffeine, just like any other food or drink, has a specific and limited role in the post bariatric lifestyle can make it easier to manage your caffeine intake properly.

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