Weight loss surgery gives bariatric patients a new lease on life. As you lose the extra pounds, many obesity-related conditions disappear entirely or are significantly reduced. Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon's work is done, and your body begins to heal, your emotions may shift. As you change into your post-op life, you may naturally think about returning to a more normal life. Yet you'll have a different diet, including another way of drinking liquids.
One of the most common questions our bariatric clinic deals with is whether patients can have alcoholic beverages following gastric sleeve surgery. Patients also wonder what other beverages they can consume as part of a healthy lifestyle. While the short answer is that you can consume alcohol after gastric sleeve, you must understand why you should approach drinking differently.
It's vital for gastric sleeve and other weight loss surgery patients to understand what they can and cannot consume after the procedure. The way your body processes beverages now is quite different. Read on to discover the science behind dietary beverage recommendations.
Can You Drink Alcohol After a Gastric Sleeve?
Drinking alcohol is a personal choice. A time may come when you are out with friends and want to have that glass of wine or another type of drink in celebration. It's okay to have a drink. However, you need to keep the following in mind whenever you decide to imbibe. First off, alcohol has empty calories that are carbohydrate sugars. Bariatric patients who drink alcohol excessively can impede weight loss or even contribute to weight gain.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Alters Metabolism
Although gastric sleeve isn't as drastic as gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery types, your digestive tract remains altered. Research indicates that blood alcohol levels peak higher and fast and take longer to return to normal due to your altered metabolism. After your surgery, you'll also consume less food, which contributes to expedited absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream. Some patients only need to consume one alcoholic drink to experience elevated levels that lead to legal intoxication. The way your body absorbs drinks will also make you more prone to alcohol use disorders.
Rapid weight loss and low carbohydrate intake can lead to low blood sugar. Consuming alcohol further depletes glycogen, causing your blood sugar levels to drop. You'll be at higher risk for developing low blood sugar.
Alcohol, Nausea, and Vomiting
Drinking alcohol may because you to become nauseated. If so, stop drinking and use anti-nausea remedies to prevent vomiting. Don’t be alarmed if drinking alcohol causes you to become sick. If so, stop drinking and use anti-nausea remedies to prevent vomiting. If alcohol routinely causes you to become nauseated, You may want to avoid it entirely, especially if you vomit, which can cause your stomach to become inflamed and swollen
Precautions to take when drinking alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery
You should take several precautions when drinking alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery. Avoid drinking alcohol at all during the first year after your gastric sleeve surgery. This is when weight loss occurs the most rapidly and when you will be the most sensitive to alcohol’s intoxicating effects.
If you do drink alcohol, have someone you trust with you who knows you have had weight loss surgery and understands how alcohol consumption can affect your body. Be careful not to overdo it. Make sure you eat a meal before consuming alcohol and give yourself plenty of time between drinks.
Follow these guidelines when reintroducing alcohol following gastric sleeve surgery.
- Don’t attempt alcohol until at least six months after surgery and make sure you eat beforehand
- Avoid carbonated beverages, beer, and sugary drink mixers
- Remain aware that even low alcohol consumption can cause intoxication
- Never drive after you start drinking alcohol, even if the amount is small
- Be mindful of the calorie content
- If you find yourself drinking to cope, you may be starting to abuse alcohol, so consult your doctor to get help
Can You Drink Soda after Gastric Sleeve?
For many bariatric surgery patients, drinking soda was a way of life before having their procedure. However, it is not something you should consume as part of your new diet and lifestyle. Avoid regular, low-calorie, and no-calorie sodas after gastric sleeve in favor of water. Here is why.
Carbonation is the Culprit
Carbonation is present in all sodas and several other drinks, including beer, sparkling wine, and seltzer water. It causes gas, bloating, and carries a risk of acid reflux. The bubbles produced by carbonated drinks cause your stomach to expand. Under normal circumstances, you would burp to relieve the discomfort, but your stomach's reduced size can make this discomfort painful. Bloating from carbonation can also slow post-op healing because it puts excessive pressure on the incision.
Most sodas are also high in empty calories, making it harder to lose weight and keep it off. Some also contain caffeine, which dehydrates your body, so it's best to avoid all sodas.
Bariatric Drinks Recommendations
You'll find many healthy alternatives to drinking soda. Water is always the best choice., but you can regularly drink non-fat or low-fat milk and decaf coffee and tea. You can also incorporate these drinks into your diet. but avoid energy versions:
- Crystal Light or Crystal Light Pure, sweetened with Truvia
- Sugar-free lemonade and iced tea
- Sugar-free Kool-Aid
- Sugar-free Hawaiian Punch
- Wyler’s sugar-free beverage in individual packages
- Herbal teas
- Diet green tea
- Diet Ocean Spray juices
- Diet Snapple
- Diet V-8 Splash
- Water infused with lemon, lime, orange, and fresh mint
- Water infused with any fresh fruit
You will need to drink diluted juice as some of the brands mentioned will taste too sweet. Always remember to use the 30/30 rule when drinking liquids of any kind. Stop drinking any fluids 30 minutes before a meal, and don't have additional liquids until 30 minutes after a meal.
You can continue to enjoy drinks after gastric sleeve surgery if you keep the above guidelines in mind. Happy drinking!
For more information about gastric sleeve surgery and how it can benefit you, contact our weight loss surgery center today at 800-970-0577 or use our convenient email form.