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Alcohol and Gastric Bypass – Know How it Affects You

Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery

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Avoiding Alcohol Post Gastric Bypass

After gastric bypass surgery, the advice is for patients to abstain from alcoholic beverages. Any bariatric procedure asks for a lifestyle change.

Excessive and Unnecessary Calories

This is because not only does alcohol have excess calories (7 calories per gram compared to carbohydrates and protein which each has four calories per gram) but also there are conflicting studies on the effects of alcohol after roux-en-bypass surgery.

Stronger Impact and Sensitivity

The general concern is that the effects of alcohol can be stronger after having bariatric surgery.1 Many patients report being more sensitive to alcohol than what they were before undergoing surgery and that those effects lasted longer.

The Body takes Longer to Excrete the Alcohol

Studies have also shown that after bariatric surgery, individuals may absorb alcohol faster, likely because liquids empty out of the pouch/stomach more quickly and the body may take longer to excrete alcohol. The digestion is slower because the enzyme in the stomach which generally first starts to digest alcohol is absent or significantly reduced in quantity.

“Generally, we advice bariatric patients to abstain from consuming alcohol. But, if one wants to have some, please avoid carbonated alcoholic beverages/sparkling wines after bariatric surgery. Consume minimal quality. Slowly take small sips to avoid discomfort.” – Katelyn JM (US-RD Nutritionist)

Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery

Penn Medicine2 has given a few points to remember while drinking alcohol post bariatric surgery-

  • Say no to alcohol for the initial six months following bariatric surgery.
  • Ask for your PCP’s okay before you start drinking again.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages after bariatric surgery, and this includes sugary drink mixers.
  • Always remember that alcohol has a more considerable effect after weight loss surgery.
  • Don’t drive after drinking.
  • Only drink with meals or while eating to help slow absorption of alcohol. Take small sips.


  1. Valeria Duarte Gregoria, Roselma Lucchese et al. “The Alcohol Consumption is Amended After Bariatric Surgery? An Integrative ReviewBrazilian Archives of Digestive Surgery 2016; 29(Suppl 1): 111–115.
  2. Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Blog, Penn Medicine. “Can You Drink Alcohol After Weight Loss Surgery?”
  • Effects of alcohol after gastric bypass surgery
  • Alcohol abuse after gastric bypass surgery
  • Can you drink alcohol after gastric bypass surgery
  • Drinking alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery
  • Bariatric surgery and alcohol
Updated on November 19, 2018

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