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Caffeine after Bariatric Surgery

Caffeine has become a big part of the average person’s modern lifestyle, both from beverages we all know to be caffeinated, but also from the myriad of products that often contain hidden caffeine. Some forms include:

  • Coffee (even decaf)
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Chocolate
  • Ice Cream and yogurt
  • Energy drinks
  • “Designer” waters
  • Protein bars
  • Pain relievers and more

While caffeine can offer a much needed energy boost in the morning or halfway through the day, it is not compatible with the bariatric surgery diet – at least not in significant quantities.  Ultimately, it causes several potential issues:

  • Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it flushes water out of your system. Hydration is one of the most importance indicators of success after surgery. Not only does it help with energy and mood throughout the day, it can also promote weight loss. Patients that are chronically dehydrated have a harder time maintaining their weight loss.
  • Caffeine can affect mood, and withdrawal can be very uncomfortable for many patients and cause a cycle of increased caffeine intake over time.
  • Caffeine can be a stomach irritant, causing discomfort in the abdominal area which can, in turn, complicate early recovery after bariatric surgery.
  • Caffeinated food and drinks can cause weight regain. Many caffeinated drinks are also carbonated, which can cause stretching of the stomach pouch, and in turn, long-term weight regain. Caffeinated food and drinks are also often sweetened which, of course, can run counter to the new lifestyle patients have adopted.

We do not advocate for a complete abstinence from all of the foods and drinks that don’t comply with postsurgical instructions. We certainly understand that there are times when eating less-than-ideal foods are inevitable. However, especially in the first few months after surgery, we want patients to avoid caffeine whenever they can. Beyond that time, we encourage a conversation with our office to decide the best course of action for your individual circumstance. In the meantime, questions about caffeine can be answered at any follow-up appointments or at one of our monthly weight loss surgery support groups.

Our Surgical Weight Loss Program and Bariatric Surgery Center's mission is to deliver safe and effective surgical solutions with a compassionate touch. Our bariatric program is operated by NYU Langone Long Island Surgical Associates, P.C., a network of leading physicians and surgeons that provide comprehensive care for patients.

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