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Why Should I Avoid Soda After Bariatric Surgery

Soda after Bariatric Surgery

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Considering that a can of soda has 8-13 teaspoons of sugar for every 12 ounces, it is a lot of sugar and empty calories. Such people suffer from weight gain and even dental problems.1

So, it comes as no surprise that after bariatric surgery, regular or diet soda consumption is not recommended. One way to keep weight gain at bay after bariatric surgery is to not consume sweetened beverages.2

Why No Soda After Weight Loss Surgery?

Reasons to Avoid Soda Post WLS

  • There is no nutritional value to liquid sugar. A can of soda is just empty calories taking unnecessary space in your stomach pouch. Though the stomach pouch cannot burst open, overeating causes bloating, nausea and can also cause dumping syndrome after gastric bypass surgery.
  • Sugary and fizzy drinks aren’t recommended after bariatric surgery also because they cause nausea and discomfort.3
  • Initially, after gastric sleeve, bypass or any other bariatric surgery, drinking a carbonated beverage could interfere with your staple line and the healing process.

Impact of Soda After Bariatric Surgery

Effect of Soda on Body Post Weight Loss Surgery

  • Science isn’t conclusive on this, but artificial sweeteners may cause increased cravings for sweets and carbohydrates. Dr. David Ludwig, a specialist at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital says that artificial sweeteners may cause people to replace the lost calories with other foods. The American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association agree with this statement.4
  • Cola, specifically, can increase the risk of kidney stones. A 2013 study shows that there is a 23% increased risk of kidney stones in patients who consume soda and all other beverages.5
  • Caffeine is a diuretic and is present in many regular and diet soda drinks. It can cause you to lose valuable fluids.6
  • Sodium, which is frequently added to sodas, increases your thirst and fluid needs.
  • Phosphoric acid can cause decreased absorption of calcium (a much-needed nutrient after surgery)

Avoid using a straw and obviously no carbonated drinks. Sometimes when people still use straws they can develop air bubbles. This causes discomfort. – Katelyn JM (US Registered Dietician)

How to Resist Soda Cravings

  • Find good alternatives to soda. For instance, flavored water, coconut water, and sugar-free lemonade.
  • If one needs caffeine, it is better to have a cup of tea or coffee without sugar, instead of soda.
  • Do exercise math. Know how much sugar and calories a can of soda has. For a 20-ounce soda can, one needs to run for 50 minutes or walk for 5 miles. This acts as a good deterrent.
  • Always carry a bottle of water or any other healthy beverage alternative to sodas. This will decrease the urge to buy soda cans.
  • Avoid places that serve sodas, like the office vending machines. Another good idea would be to avoid consuming food that makes one crave a soda.

According to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, adults who are overweight and drink diet soda are more likely to compensate their calories by eating more. Hence, drinking diet soda does not really aid in weight loss.

Data compiled under the study shows that overweight individuals who switch to diet soda roughly consume the same number of calories as overweight adults who drink regular soda. Click here to read more about the research study.



 Disclaimer: Weight loss results may vary. We do not guarantee any specific results.

The new real estate in your stomach or pouch is PRIME (meaning there’s limited space in there)! You don’t want to fill it with junk. It is important to eat nutrient-rich food in appropriate quantities.


  1. SFGate Healthy Eating, Kelsey Casselbury. “How Much Sugar is Really in a Soda?” Accessed 11 July 2018.
  2. Benson-Davies, Sue, Michael L. Davies, and Kendra Kattelmann. “Understanding Eating and Exercise Behaviors in Post Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass Patients: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study.” Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care2 (2013): 61–68. PMC. Web. 19 July 2018.
  3. Graham Y. et al. “Patient Experiences of Adjusting to Life in the First 2 Years after Bariatric Surgery: A Qualitative Study”. Clinical Obesity 5 (2017): 323-335. PMS. Web. Accessed 11 July 2018.
  4. Holly Strawbridge, “Artificial Sweeteners: Sugar-free, but at what cost?” Harvard Health Publishing (Harvard Medical School) 20 July 2018.
  5. Ferraro, Pietro Manuel et al. “Soda and Other Beverages and the Risk of Kidney Stones.” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology: CJASN 8.8 (2013): 1389–1395. PMC. Web. 19 July 2018.
  6. Seal, Adam D. et al. “Coffee with High but Not Low Caffeine Content Augments Fluid and Electrolyte Excretion at Rest.” Frontiers in Nutrition 4 (2017): 40. PMC. Web. 20 July 2018.
Updated on June 21, 2019

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