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How Important is it to Avoid Flat Carbonated Drinks After WLS

Flat Carbonated Drinks Post Bariatric Surgery


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Question:  Can I drink diet carbonated drinks if they have gone flat?

(I’ve had gastric bypass bariatric surgery. I don’t care about the bubbles; I just like the flavor. Something like diet ginger ale with a twist of lime?)

Answer:

  • Technically yes, although some people still have discomfort. A concern with the long-term use of artificially sweetened beverages is their effect on your appetite and craving triggers.
  • Research shows that long-term consumption of artificially sweetened drinks like diet soda, diet juice, and even protein drinks may cause individuals to crave more sweets and other “junk” foods during the day.
  • Occasionally drinking a flat soda is likely not going to cause a big issue but try to limit daily consumption of these foods/drinks long term.
  • Again, initially, it is fine as our primary goal is just staying hydrated.

“I caution against having more than 12oz of diet soda a day. Instead, try to choose sparkling, unsweetened water like Perrier, La Croix, etc.” – Katelyn JM (US-RD Nutritionist)

Carbonated Drinks Bad Post Weight Loss Surgery

  • Carbonation gives rise to gas, bloating, general discomfort and can even cause acid reflux after bariatric surgery.
  • Nutritionists and surgeons advise against soda after bariatric surgery because it is heavily carbonated.
  • The carbonation causes the stomach to bloat, making the patient feel nauseous. Drinking soda right after surgery can cause severe discomfort and pain because of the stomach’s reduced size.
  • Another thing to note is that all carbonated drinks put excessive pressure on the incisions and can hamper their healing process as well.
  • Consuming carbonated drinks following bariatric surgery can cause nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux, the gas being the causative factor.1

“The bigger issue is that around the same time people can begin to drink diet soda again, they also start experimenting or testing the waters with other foods/habits, such as grazing, not planning meals as well, choosing “occasional” foods more than what is likely optimal to maintain their weight loss, etc. So, there is usually more going on than just drinking a soda, which by the way is a bunch of sugar and chemicals or just a bunch of chemicals (if it is diet).” – Katelyn JM (US-RD Nutritionist)

References

  1. J.H. Kang and J.Y. Kang. “Lifestyle Measures in the Management of Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease: Clinical and Pathophysiological Considerations” Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease 2015; 6(2): 51-64
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