Bariatric patients have a complex relationship with coffee. Traditional coffee shop beverages are overladen with calories, sugar, and fat—three no-gos for bariatric patients. Caffeine is also a challenge in the initial phase of recovery after a weight loss procedure. Most bariatric surgeons recommend waiting at least 30 days before reintroducing caffeine to avoid dehydration, acid reflux, and diarrhea. However, bariatric patients can use decaf coffee while recovering. Some may prefer to stick with decaf beyond the initial 30 days, depending on how their new anatomy responds to caffeine.
Regardless, you can still enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings if you take the right precautions. The following are several bariatric-friendly lattes to satisfy morning coffee cravings.
Bariatric Mocha Latte
Unsweetened cocoa powder gives this latte a delicious twist without breaking the calorie bank or overloading on sugar.
- 2/3 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ½ C coffee (decaf if preferred)
- 2 tbsp zero-calorie sugar substitute
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
To keep things simple, you can add all the ingredients to a hot cup of coffee and enjoy. However, for a more latte-like experience, you can use a milk frother or French press on the milk to make a foamy coffee treat!
Iced Chai Tea + Protein
Enjoying a morning cup of tea can be a soothing morning ritual. However, you can also sneak some protein into it! Tradition chai tea concentrate powders are carb and sugar-heavy. You can make your own bariatric-friendly chair with the following:
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
- 1 C water
- ½ C ice
- 2 tsp zero-calorie sugar substitute
- 1 chai tea bag (decaf)
- Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
Heat the water and allow the teabag to steep for 3-4 minutes. Cool the tea to room temperature before adding the other ingredients. Pour the tea and protein powder into a protein shaker cup and blend the ingredients thoroughly. Pour the protein chai mix over ice. If you want a bit more sweetness, add your sugar substitute to taste. Sprinkle with the spices for a more traditional chai tea flavor.
Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Pumpkin spice has entrenched itself into the coffee-drinking culture. However, pumpkin spice coffees usually contain a boggling amount of sugar. You can still enjoy the flavor of pumpkin spice after bariatric surgery by making it yourself with a few substitutions.
- Ground coffee (decaf if preferred)
- ½-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Splash of sugar-free French vanilla creamer
- Zero-calorie sugar substitute
Making pumpkin spice coffee is easy as pie! Add your pumpkin spice to your coffee grounds, and brew your coffee as usual. Add a splash of sugar-free French vanilla creamer for a richer and creamier pumpkin spice coffee.
When Can I Drink Caffeine after Bariatric Surgery?
For post-op bariatric patients, it’s best to avoid caffeine for a minimum of 30 days. However, there are a few complexities to keep in mind. Caffeine can impede nutrient absorption, which is already reduced in bariatric patients. Furthermore, caffeine is known to have a dehydrating effect, which can result in rehospitalization after surgery due to inadequate hydration.
It’s recommended that bariatric patients avoid caffeine during the first month post-op, and even after that, they should be cautious about their coffee choices. Most commercially available coffee options contain excessive calories, sugar, and fat, which can negatively impact their health.
You don’t have to completely give up your morning coffee after bariatric surgery. With a few alterations, you can recreate your favorite flavors while significantly reducing the calories, fat, sugar, and carbs. Contact us to learn more about life after weight loss surgery.