Coffee After Gastric Sleeve? Caffeine & Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery: What You Need to Know

Drinking Coffee, Caffeine, and Alcohol After Weight Loss Surgery

At VIDA Bariatrics, we firmly believe that it’s important for bariatric patients to understand the changes they have to make after weight loss surgery and how their bodies will respond to common foods and drinks, such as alcohol and caffeine.

Since we often get the question “Can I drink coffee and alcohol after Bariatric Surgery?” we want to help answer your questions regarding these two common beverages and help you feel better prepared for your post-bariatric life.

The first thing we always remind our patients is that there’s no better way to help your body heal and make the most of bariatric surgery than by watching your Eating and Drinking Habits.

Sometimes, it’s the little things you have to consider the most in order to take care of yourself post-op, and a patient who likes to drink coffee may not consider that their gastric bypass surgery could be impacted by drinking too much caffeine.

As we talk about all things alcohol, caffeine, and bariatric surgery, we’ll explain how to handle this better following your gastric sleeve procedure.

Can You Drink Coffee After Gastric Sleeve Surgery or Other Bariatric Surgeries?

The short answer is no, you cannot drink coffee after bariatric surgery such as a gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery.

Our weight loss surgeons advise patients who have undergone bariatric surgery to avoid drinking coffee, as well as other caffeinated beverages like energy drinks. However, we don’t believe in just saying ‘no’ to our patients, because we understand how drinking coffee and tea is normal for everybody, and there are other alternative options to help you improve your energy levels.

We want to help you understand why you should avoid caffeine and not drink coffee after bariatric surgery:

  • Bariatric surgery changes the way your digestive tract handles food and drinks. Some of the surgeries are malabsorptive, which means they limit body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients. Since we need to prioritize proper nutrient absorption, avoiding caffeine and coffee intake is the best idea. Caffeine makes nutrient absorption more challenging for your body, and being a bariatric patient means having to pay special attention to this!
  • Caffeine intake also increases digestive issues such as diarrhea and acid reflux. While these are uncomfortable for the general population, acid reflux, and other digestive issues can create serious after-surgery complications for bariatric patients.
  • Caffeinated drinks are acidic, which can irritate your stomach. Following bariatric surgery, it’s important to avoid irritating foods to avoid gas and vomiting.
  • Caffeine is a natural diuretic. Drinking too much caffeine increases urination, which can lead to dehydration. Following any surgery, you want to stay hydrated to promote healing and avoid dehydration!

Don’t ignore caffeine in other types of beverages. Apart from drinking coffee, pay attention to the labels on drinks such as teas, flavored waters, sodas, energy drinks, and protein shakes.

Here is what you can do instead of drinking caffeinated beverages: drink water and natural fruit water. Our patients have loved infusing water with fruits like berries and peaches to help them increase their water intake!

If you want a hot drink in the morning, ask your surgeon for other alternatives, such as a recommendation for naturally caffeine-free herbal infusions. Always talk to your surgeon before introducing coffee back into your diet.

What About Decaffeinated Coffee? Is Decaf Coffee OK?

Like regular coffee, even decaffeinated coffee should be avoided until you have a chat with your surgeon in the weeks after the surgery and explore the possibility of having a cup (8 oz) of decaf coffee in the morning.

Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery

If you are having bariatric surgery, the way your body reacts to alcohol will change, as with drinking coffee.

While having a glass of wine with dinner or a couple of beers on a hot summer afternoon may be normal for you, your ‘normal’ will change after weight-loss surgery.

When our patients ask: ‘Can you drink alcohol after a gastric sleeve surgery or a gastric bypass surgery?’ The short answer is ‘not for now.’

While you are actively trying to lose weight, in the first 10 to 18 months after the gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery, you should avoid alcohol completely.

After this period of fast adjustments to your body, our surgeons don’t expect you to eliminate alcohol entirely from your diet, but we do remind you that it’s best to limit your consumption as much as possible.

Drinking Alcohol After Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass Surgery

Drinking alcohol after bariatric surgery won’t be the same as it was before and the damaging effects alcohol has on your body are only worsened.

Alcohol is absorbed considerably more quickly into your system after gastric sleeve surgery, making its sedative and mood-altering effects more difficult to predict and control. Here is why:

  • While different bariatric procedures help weight loss at different levels, they all have something in common: a change in your gastrointestinal tract which means that will pass faster to the intestinal part and get absorbed faster means that you won’t be able to metabolize alcohol as well, and you will get drunk considerably faster. 
  • In most surgeries, a portion of your small intestine is bypassed, and this is where most alcohol absorption happens. Since the function of your intestine is modified after the surgery, your digestive system will absorb more alcohol, instead of breaking it down.
  • Alcohol is caloric! Once you’ve gone through surgery, you need to eat healthily. Alcohol contains no nutrients, and most drinks, especially darker alcohols, have high sugar. Mixed drinks and cocktails are basically sugar-loaded desserts in a glass. These unnecessary calories can be counterproductive to your healthy diet.
  • As with drinking too much caffeine, alcohol can cause dehydration too, and staying hydrated is important post-surgery.

So, after having bariatric surgery such as a gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery, before having alcohol or drinking caffeine, ask yourself: are the calories worth it? How will I feel after drinking this? Will my body benefit from this drink?

If you have any doubts regarding food, alcohol, or drinking coffee after gastric sleeve surgery or another bariatric surgery, don’t wait and contact VIDA Bariatrics at 1 (619) 610-1667.

Our surgeons are here to support you and help you have a balanced diet that you can incorporate into your routine. We’ll gladly help answer all your questions!

More About Bariatric Surgery Post-Op Care


Dr. Gabriela Rodriguez specializes in General and Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery. She brings to VIDA Wellness and Beauty a wealth of experience in bariatrics. Dr. Rodriguez is a founding associate of the Mexican College of General Surgeons. A world-class bariatric surgeon with double certification in the US and Mexico.