Soda should be avoided after any form of gastric weight loss surgery because it can cause several problems. Sugary, carbonated drinks like soda are best left out of your bariatric surgery diet because:
- They can cause gas and bloating. Carbonated beverages like sodas contain gas, which can cause bloating, discomfort and abdominal distension. Carbonation can also place added stress on your incision, which can interfere with the healing process. You will need to avoid carbonated drinks of all kinds for a minimum of three months after weight loss surgery.
- They can cause dumping syndrome. If you’ve had gastric bypass, eating or drinking anything with high sugar content can lead to dumping syndrome. This dietary complication is caused by sugar entering the small intestine at an abnormally fast rate, potentially resulting in symptoms like weakness, nausea, cold sweat, paleness, pounding heartbeat and diarrhea.
- They can slow down weight loss. Non-diet sodas and other sugary beverages are full of empty calories, which can slow down your weight loss efforts.
Alternatives to Soda
For some people, drinking soda can be a difficult habit to break, but finding satisfying alternatives can make this transition easier. Instead of soda, try drinking these healthier options after bariatric surgery:
- Water. This is the healthiest possible beverage choice, and it’s best to constantly carry a bottle of water to encourage you to drink the 64 ounces of fluids you’ll need to stay hydrated after weight loss surgery. But if you find yourself growing tired of plain-old water, you can spice things up by adding fresh mint or slices of lime, lemon, orange or grapefruit for flavor. You can also try sugar-free Kool Aid, Crystal Light or Powerade Zero.
- Decaf coffee and tea. Because caffeine can be dehydrating, you’ll need to limit caffeinated beverages to no more than 16 ounces per day. However, decaffeinated coffee and tea are acceptable drink options.
- Milk. Milk contains important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and protein. If you’ve had gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or gastric band, you’ll need to drink fat-free milk, but patients of duodenal switch should look for full-fat varieties.
When you’re looking for something to quench your thirst, remember the problems that soda can cause after weight loss surgery—choose one of these alternatives instead.