Patients often ask us if consuming caffeine is appropriate after weight loss surgery. As with most aftercare questions, the answer is: it depends. Further, that answer depends on type and quantity of caffeine being consumed. Moderation is a key to success after weight loss surgery and consuming too much of anything is, ultimately, bad. This is also true for caffeine.
Caffeine is found in many of our favorite foods and drinks including chocolate, tea, coffee and many sodas. While caffeine can be useful for a quick boost in the morning or when you're feeling drowsy in the afternoon, it is not the best supplement for a weight loss surgery patient.
Firstly, caffeine, in large amounts, is a diuretic, which means that it flushes water out of the body. This presents a particular challenge for bariatric surgery patients, who can quickly become dehydrated if they don't manage their caffeine and water intake properly. Secondly, many of the foods and drinks that contain caffeine also contain high amounts of sugar. This is particularly true for sodas and milk chocolate. While we may feel like it's a small indulgence, the added sugar intake can be very counterproductive to our weight loss goals. Finally, caffeine can also irritate the stomach pouch, causing significant discomfort depending on the procedure.
In the end, we do not want to deprive you of life’s small pleasures and if caffeine is one of them, then consuming it in moderation at the right time is the best way to enjoy it. However, before consuming caffeinated foods and drinks, speak to our office about whether not caffeine may be right for you and what quantities are appropriate for your individual circumstance.