Decisions are made when you choose to have weight loss surgery.  You commit to eating a high protein diet, taking daily vitamins & supplements, maintaining a consistent exercise routine, no smoking, drinking plenty of water, and much more.  For those who decide to move forward, the benefits of weight loss surgery far surpass the daily effort required to earn the rewards.

Included in the dietary changes required for long-term, healthy weight control, is reducing or eliminating caffeine after weight loss surgery.  Dr. Yadegar recommends no more than one 8-ounce cup of coffee per day.  The average cup of brewed coffee has 95-200 mg of caffeine, depending on the bean type and brewing technique.  And although they committed to reducing caffeine intake before surgery, some patients slowly begin to increase their intake even a few months after surgery.

But what’s wrong with a few cups of coffee at work, or a Venti brew at Starbucks?  Although recent research touts the benefits of coffee drinking, for weight loss surgery patients there can be downsides.

  • Caffeine is a diuretic at 500-600 milligrams per day.  It causes water loss through excess urination.  Weight loss surgery patients are already susceptible to dehydration since they cannot drink large amounts at once but instead they must sip slowly throughout the day.  Dehydration increases the risk of developing kidney stones after weight loss surgery.  Contact your physician if you experience sudden, severe pain that moves in waves in the back, side, abdomen or groin; nausea & vomiting; blood in the urine; frequent & painful urination.
  • Caffeinated beverages can stimulate acid secretion in the stomach and worsen ulcer symptoms.  The bariatric surgery stomach pouch is sensitive and may become irritated.  If consuming caffeine causes sudden, burning pain in the stomach, or leads to bloody or black stools, contact your physician immediately.

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More Side Effects of Caffeine:

  • Can worsen anxiety
  • May cause irritability
  • Can aggravate bleeding disorders
  • Can cause irregular heart beat
  • May worsen diabetes
  • May cause nausea
  • Can worsen diarrhea
  • May worsen IBS
  • May cause difficulty sleeping
  • It increases pressure in the eye
  • May increase blood pressure for those with hypertension
  • Caffeine can increase the amount of calcium flushed out in the urine

“But I really enjoy my morning cup(s) of coffee!”

Coffee Alternatives:

  • Herbal tea, caffeine content:  most are caffeine-free
  • Roasted grain beverage, caffeine content:  none
  • Green tea, caffeine content:  10-30 milligrams per 8 ounce cup
  • Matcha latte, caffeine content:  similar to green tea
  • Yerba latte, caffeine content:  30-60 milligrams per 8 ounce cup
  • Decaf coffee, caffeine content:  1-12 milligrams per 8 ounce cup

The goal is to keep your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams or less per day.  When caffeine consumption is kept at a modest level, most patients will not experience any significant side effects.

Where to purchase Coffee Alternatives:
Roasted Grain Beverage, rich, coffee-like flavor
Yerba Latte

Resources:
mayoclinic.com, webmd.com, livestrong.com, Surgery for Obesity & Related Diseases – 6