Gastric sleeve surgery changes your life from how you look to how you perceive food and ultimately what your new eating habits are going to be like for the rest of your life. One of the biggest struggles with getting a gastric sleeve is learning what foods and beverages your new stomach can handle. Many bariatric patients drink soda on a regular basis before the surgery, but it isn’t something that should be included in your new changed lifestyle.
Can I drink Soda?
If you want to look at soda on a purely technical basis you can drink it after surgery, but it is definitely not advised for multiple reasons. Regular, low-calorie and no-calorie sodas should all be avoided in favor of water after bariatric surgery.
Why is soda a bad idea after gastric sleeve surgery?
Carbonation causes gas, bloating and carries a risk of acid reflux. One of the reasons you don’t want to consume soda is due to the carbonation that is present in all forms including colas, clear-colored and no caffeine varieties. The bubbles cause expansion of your stomach and bloating, which you can burp out to relieve discomfort under normal circumstances, but the reduced size of your stomach can make the discomfort severe and could be significantly painful. It can also slow healing from the procedure because the bloating puts excessive pressure on the incision. The same logic applies to anything with carbonation including beer, sparkling wine, champagne, or seltzer water. If you absolutely cannot go without, limit your intake to a few sips and allow it to get flat before consuming for less carbonation and irritation.
Slows down weight loss. Beverages other than water tend to be high in sugar and carbohydrates. These empty calories make it harder to lose weight and keep it off, not to mention they may spur a craving for other sugars and sweet foods.
Caffeine is a diuretic. Most sodas contain caffeine which dehydrates your body, meaning you need to drink even more water than the recommended 64 ounces per day. It also affects how some vitamins and minerals are absorbed into your system. Since the sleeve already impacts how your body absorbs nutrients it’s essential for you to do everything you can to ensure you aren’t depriving it of any others.
Alternatives to Soda
Water. The importance of water cannot be over stressed. Water keeps you hydrated and is the best beverage to consume. Keep a bottle with you at all times to ensure you’re getting at least the minimum amount needed every day. If you need a little flavor add a slice of lemon or a sugar-free flavoring packet such as crystal light.
Milk. This alternative varies from one person to another. Some bariatric patients can handle drinking milk, while others have irritation due to the lactose content. Look for no-fat varieties and take small sips.
Decaffeinated coffee or tea. If you need a hot beverage and water isn’t cutting it, you can opt for non-caffeinated coffee or tea in moderation. It is advised not to have more than 16 ounces per day. Keep water in your head as your main beverage at all times to make the most out of your experience.
The gastric sleeve process modifies the way your digestive system functions. Committing to bariatric surgery isn’t something that is a temporary decision. It is a lifestyle change that you need to commit to and put the effort forward to maintain your health.