After weight loss surgery it is important to follow post-surgical guidelines regarding your diet.
One element of diet a lot of patients ask about is caffeine, and whether they can keep drinking their favourite tea, coffee or soft drink.
There is no hard and fast rule to answer this question with. Factors such as your body’s tolerance to caffeine and the type of weight loss surgery you had can play a factor in the answer.
However, all things in moderation. And this is especially true of your diet post-weight loss surgery. There are four good reasons why drinking (or eating) caffeine in moderation is better for you post-bariatric surgery.
4 reasons to moderate your caffeine after bariatric surgery
Bariatric surgery alters your digestive system by changing how it can process and absorb food and drink. Your stomach is reduced and some of the digestive tract is either bypassed or removed.
Excessive consumption of caffeine is believed to reduce both iron and calcium absorption. This is problematic since post-weight loss surgery your nutrient absorption is already reduced.
Four reasons you should moderate your caffeine after bariatric surgery include:
1. Excessive caffeine consumption can cause digestive issues
That caffeine can cause negative digestive issues are true for everyone. However, the effects can be more pronounced in bariatric patients for two reasons:
- Smaller stomach.
- Body’s reduced ability to absorb nutrients.
Excessive consumption of caffeine can result in gastric reflux and diarrhea. In this case, for bariatric patients, excessive consumption of caffeine is more than a cup of coffee (or tea, soft drink, etc).
2. Caffeine’s known to cause dehydration
Caffeine causes dehydration because it’s a diuretic. This means it makes you urinate more. Which means your body flushes out more water. And so, excessive consumption of caffeine leads to dehydration.
Part of successful weight loss surgery recovery involves staying hydrated. This is because water:
- helps joints and muscles work better.
- Keeps your skin supple.
- Promotes cardiovascular health.
- Keeps your body cool.
- It helps to clean your body (inside and outside).
3. Some caffeinated drinks and food are high in sugar
Caffeinated drinks and food like soft drinks and chocolate are often high in sugar. Which is a problem because excessive consumption of these types of food and drink can cause weight gain.
4. Caffeine drinks are usually more acidic
Highly acidic drinks like soft drinks and coffee can cause stomach irritation even for people who haven’t had their stomach surgically altered. For bariatric patients, the effects of the high acidity of caffeinated drinks can be exacerbated.
Even some decaf drinks have caffeine in them
Did you know there’s a difference between decaf and caffeine-free coffee? Most decaf coffee contains, at best, 3% caffeine. Whereas there are caffeine-free teas available. And as long as you get the naturally caffeine-free ones you’re fine.
Non-naturally caffeine-free teas have undergone some form of chemical stripping of the leaves. So, it’s questionable if these options are actually healthy at all.
Consuming caffeine after weight loss surgery
Once you’ve recovered from weight loss surgery, caffeine will be one part of your diet you will need to moderate. In some cases, you may need to eliminate it altogether. However, the best way to find that out will be in a consultation with Dr Stephen Watson.
For more information, or to request a consultation, contact us today.