Can I Drink Alcohol after Weight Loss Surgery?

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.

Take it Slow

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

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.

Stay On Track

It is also important to remember to choose your beverage wisely. 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.

Just because you have had weight loss surgery doesn’t mean you can’t ever enjoy a cocktail again. It just means that you need to be aware of how your body processes alcohol differently and alter your habits accordingly. If you find yourself drinking regularly to cope with emotions or stress, seek help by consulting with your doctor.

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