Enjoying the morning ritual of drinking a fresh cup of coffee can be a great way to start the day. Whether it’s a matter of necessity or a luxury, coffee offers much-needed energy to wake up and stimulate the daily routine.

So you are probably wondering, can you drink coffee after gastric sleeve surgery?

Coffee has caffeine and caffeine is a diuretic that causes dehydration – working against staying hydrated after sleeve surgery. It also makes your stomach produce more acid – acid reflux is a concern after sleeve surgery.

It is a good idea to refrain from all caffeinated drinks, including coffee, after the bariatric operation – especially the first couple of months. But you do not have to give up drinking coffee all together after the gastric sleeve procedure. There are very important rules that you should always follow.

Drinking Coffee Right After Gastric Sleeve

It is important to have no coffee at all within the first 30 to 90 days after the operation. It is highly advisable that patients wait until their stomach is fully healed and their bodies adjust to the smaller stomach.

Let's Spill the Beans About Coffee After Gastric Sleeve

Here are the most important reasons why it’s not such a good idea to drink coffee or caffeine immediately before or after surgery;

  1. Caffeine is acidic, and it can irritate the lining of your stomach pouch or sleeve.
  2. Coffee and other sources of caffeine can cause acid reflux after gastric sleeve.
  3. It can reduce your body’s absorption of calcium and iron.
  4. Caffeine dehydrates you and has a diuretic effect.
  5. Hot Coffee may cause risks or complications if it’s too soon after surgery.

When Can I Have Coffee After Bariatric Surgery?

Wait for 2 to 3 months before introducing coffee to your daily routine after undergoing weight loss surgery – regardless if you had sleeve gastrectomy or RNY gastric bypass. To be on the safe side, our nutritionist and medical specialist recommend asking your surgeon when you can have coffee, as every individual’s body is different.

Generally healing and recovery takes 2 to 3 weeks after going through the gastric sleeve procedure, and at that time it is very important to follow diet instructions. Coffee can increase risks and complications if consumed within the first few months following surgery. Let your stomach heal and your body adjust before you even think about drinking coffee.

Gastric Sleeve Guidelines -When Can I Have Coffee

Post-Surgery Coffee Restrictions

Coffee is not the biggest issue. It is actually the ingredient that is the most popular stimulant in the world, caffeine. As a matter of fact, caffeine is a big factor that jeopardizes post-op success. After bariatric surgery, too much caffeine intake can interfere with nutrient consumption and even negatively impact long-term weight loss.

Read post-op diet guidelines for more information.

Caffeine and Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Drinks such as soda, energy drinks, sweet teas all have high caffeine in it which might be hard to consume after your surgery. After surgery, it is important for your body to try to adapt to the new environment, and trying to consume high caffeine things may not be the best idea.

You may drink 1 or 2 cups of regular coffee after gastric sleeve procedure. Monitor your own tolerance to caffeine and make sure you stay well hydrated. You may add non-fat milk or milk substitutes with fortified calcium to your coffee to make up for calcium loss.

Adding sweeteners, flavors, and cream to your cup can all add calories to your daily diet

Can I Drink Coffee Before Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

No. It is imperative to discontinue and avoid coffee and all caffeine intake at least 2 weeks prior to your surgery date.  Caffeine is a diuretic, which causes dehydration and is acidic.

Can You Drink Decaf Coffee After Gastric Sleeve?

You may drink decaffeinated coffee if you miss the taste of coffee, although your top priority is to stay hydrated. To minimize any caffeine withdrawal, it’s best to wean off instead of quitting cold turkey. Read our complete pre-op diet guidelines for more details

Risks and Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Coffee is an excellent source of anti-oxidants and has actually been proven to have many benefits related to mood, brain function, and even cognitive performance.1 These benefits of drinking coffee include enhanced memory, positive mood, alert/vigilance, boosted energy levels, and faster reaction times, and general mental function.2

Moderate coffee drinking (3 cups a day) increases longevity, as well as lowered risk of liver disease, heart disease, and some cancers. However, too much intake of caffeinated coffee can increase your heart rate and make you jittery.

Coffee After Weight Loss Surgery - Risks vs Benefits of Caffeine

So what are the risks of drinking coffee or caffeine after gastric sleeve surgery?

One of the biggest reasons you shouldn’t consume coffee or caffeine is because it causes poor nutrient absorption. People who have already undergone bariatric surgery already have poor nutrition absorption, and coffee consumption makes it worse. Coffee can also cause indigestion and acid secretion which can result in serious post-op complications.

Coffee Alternatives

The best coffee alternative is always water. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it has no caffeine or any added ingredients making it the best and healthiest option. You can always add lemon and fruit in your water to give it a little bit more flavor.

We know it’s hard to drink water all the time so here are some other alternatives to water (but remember to not add any sugar).

Approved Alternatives:

  • stick with water
  • herbal tea (without caffeine)
  • warm apple cider
  • energizing smoothies
  • other non-carbonated, caffeine-free drinks

Acceptable, Not Recommended: Decaf coffee (in moderation and only small amounts 2-3 months after months of bariatric surgery)

Drinks to Avoid

  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Energy drinks
  • Any high sugar or caffeine drinks

Conclusion

One doesn’t have to give up coffee entirely after gastric sleeve, bypass, lap band, or other weight loss surgery. Coffee does provide some health benefits such as reduced stress. However, it is best to avoid caffeine beverages for a couple of months just to let your body adjust.

Disclaimer: *Always speak to your primary care doctor or your bariatric surgeon for individualized recommendations before drinking coffee.

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