Can I Drink Alcohol after Weight Loss Surgery? Important info after weight loss surgery

Drinking alcohol after weight loss surgery is a hot topic in many of the private support groups. Are you curious if you can have a beer, margarita or a glass of wine after a gastric bypass or sleeve surgery? Are you wanting to know how soon after surgery you can enjoy an adult beverage? While social drinking brings friends together for a good time if you have had bariatric surgery your body now reacts to alcohol in a much different way after weight loss surgery.

Take it Slow | Alcohol after weight loss surgery

alcohol after weight loss surgery

Most of the alcohol you drink is not absorbed in the stomach but rather the small intestine.  If you drink after weight loss surgery, you often experience the effects of alcohol faster and much more intensely than before surgery. In fact, two glasses of wine can sometimes feel like you drank two bottles!

It is recommended to avoid alcohol right after surgery when you are losing weight quickly and your metabolism is rapidly changing.  However, life happens and if you find yourself wanting to partake, increasing your self-awareness, taking it slowly and noting how you feel after small amounts of alcohol is a great way to not find yourself face down on the floor!

Be Self- Aware | Drinking alcohol after weight loss surgery

Keep in mind that with your new smaller stomach, one drink can raise your blood alcohol level above the legal limit. In addition, many post-surgical patients consume less food when they’re drinking alcohol, which contributes to expedited absorption of alcohol in the blood stream. So, in order to avoid a back-seat tour to your local police station, enjoy yourself with careful moderation after weight loss surgery.

Stay On Track | Calories from alcohol after weight loss surgery

It is also important to remember to choose your beverage wisely after weight loss surgery. Many cocktails are full of sugar and empty calories that do not contribute to your overall nutrition. Also drinking fizzy alcoholic drinks or carbonated mixers full of bubbles and air can leave you feeling unwell and lead to stretching your pouch over time.

alternatives to alcohol after weight loss surgery

If you are looking for something beside plain water to drink, check out our infused water ideas.

Final thoughts on drinking alcohol after weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, brings about significant changes to the digestive system, altering the way the body absorbs and metabolizes nutrients, including alcohol. Post-surgery, patients often find that their tolerance for alcohol decreases substantially. This reduced tolerance stems from several factors, including the smaller stomach size and changes in the way alcohol is processed by the body.

Consuming alcohol after weight loss surgery can lead to quicker intoxication and increased risk of alcohol-related complications, such as liver damage and addiction. Therefore, it’s crucial for individuals who have undergone weight loss surgery to exercise caution and moderation when it comes to alcohol consumption, and in some cases, it may be advisable to avoid alcohol altogether to prevent adverse health outcomes.

Moreover, drinking alcohol after weight loss surgery can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, potentially leading to nutritional deficiencies. Since post-surgery patients already face challenges in meeting their nutritional needs due to reduced food intake and changes in digestion, adding alcohol to the mix can exacerbate these issues.

Alcohol is high in empty calories and provides little to no nutritional value, displacing more nutrient-dense foods and further increasing the risk of malnutrition. Therefore, healthcare professionals typically advise patients to prioritize nutrient-rich foods and beverages and to limit or abstain from alcohol consumption to support optimal health and recovery after weight loss surgery.

More info on alcohol after weight loss surgery from ASMBS

We recommend our WLS Afterlife viewers follow their doctor’s dietary guidelines about alcohol after weight loss surgery, regardless of our recipe instructions. Don’t forget to control your portions after weight loss surgery.

WLS Afterlife is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to WLS Afterlife will earn from qualifying purchases. This will not increase your cost.

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