While an ice cold beer or a fruity drink with an umbrella sounds great on a hot day, it may not be the best idea after surgery. Alcohol is not good for the waist, and some bariatric surgery patients may get intoxicated more quickly than before surgery. Further, carbonated beverages like beer or sparkling wine can irritate and stretch the gastric pouch.
There are few nutritional benefits to alcohol. Much like a non-diet soda, that bottle of beer is full of empty calories. A light beer can cost you about 100 calories, and mixed drinks can add several hundred calories to your day.
The second reason to avoid alcohol is because of its effect on your body. After weight loss surgery, you may be more sensitive to alcohol. Because you are consuming less food and because alcohol may pass through the stomach and into the small intestine more quickly, the alcohol may hit you much faster and harder. Some patients (and this happens most often with gastric bypass patients) could be legally drunk after just one drink!
It’s best to refrain from alcohol, but you can always speak to your weight loss surgeon about alcohol consumption and if it is right for your particular post-surgical circumstance. That said; don’t waste your precious calories! You need to allow room for the good stuff like protein, complex carbs and unsaturated fat.
If you do decide to drink after surgery, you have to learn how your body reacts to alcohol and importantly, always have a designated driver to get you home.