Urban bariatric post op diet myths get perpetuated by healthcare workers and patients alike due to lack of research and lack of a standardized bariatric diet. Here's the real truth about the top 3 myths that never seem to die.
What’s So Bad About Coffee?
“Dehydration” is the #1 reason given not to drink coffee (caffeine) after weight loss surgery. After all, it’s a challenge to stay hydrated after surgery so anything standing in the way should be nixed, right?
Not so fast.
While the caffeine molecule as a drug has proven to be a diuretic, caffeine in the context of coffee or tea hasn’t. The caffeine in coffee and tea is delivered as a liquid! So coffee and tea actually contribute to your total daily fluid intake (assuming no high calorie add-ins ;)
The myth that coffee is dehydrating has long been debunked, but for some reason it never dies.
There’s no evidence to say you’ll get dehydrated from drinking coffee or tea after surgery. So purported dehydration is not a reason to restrict caffeine after surgery. But…
1. Caffeine stimulates acid secretion. This can make your GERD or acid reflux worse or aggravate an existing ulcer.
2. What you put IN the coffee. The amount of added cream and sugar is usually more of a problem than the coffee itself. If you’re like me and would prefer just a little coffee with your cream…the calories can skyrocket fast. And weight loss surgery doesn’t control liquid calories. Loaded coffee drinks are a fast track to slowed weight loss or weight regain.
Ever notice that your morning coffee helps keep you regular?
Caffeine is a stimulant…and it stimulates good things too…like your colon!
I have good news for you! There’s NO bariatric evidence to say people drinking out of straws do worse after surgery.
While drinking out of straws may cause excess gas or belching, it’s not always the case. Many people do perfectly fine using a straw. Many of my patients tell me they can drink more fluid when they drink with a straw vs without.
A straw may or may not be best for you. Try it out and make a decision.
What’s NOT True
It’s a myth that carbonation stretches your stomach back out and will ruin your surgery.
First of all, your stomach is meant to stretch. If it didn’t, you’d die. Stomach tissue is expandable. It can stretch and then go back to its smaller version. There’s no evidence to say drinking carbonated beverages stretches your new small stomach to the point it can’t retract back to normal shape.
What IS True
OK, this just makes sense:
Tiny stomach + bubbles trying to expand but no space for them to do so = discomfort
And you have to get rid of the bubbles from one end or the other ;)
They’re usually associated with other bad habits! Do these sound familiar?
Remember how you want to overhaul your diet and make a lifestyle change? Here’s an opportunity ;)