Why is it important to avoid alcohol after surgery?

#1: Alcohol consumption gets in the way of your weight loss goals. Alcohol provides “empty” calories that contain no nutritional value. One glass of wine contains about 125 calories, a beer contains up to 150-200 calories per can, and mixed drinks will vary- ranging from 100-500 calories. It is best to avoid all types of alcohol after surgery, even ones that are low-calorie.

#2: Because of your new anatomy after surgery, alcohol moves much more quickly through your stomach and intestines. Therefore, there is little opportunity for the alcohol to break down before heading into your bloodstream, so you will be more quickly affected by alcohol.

#3: Since you are not able to eat as much after surgery, every bite (and sip) counts. The goal is to nourish yourself with nutrient dense foods that will help you reach your goals, not ones that will get in the way of those goals.

#4: Since the recommendations are to not eat and drink liquids at the same time after surgery, alcohol will be absorbed at a faster rate if you are not drinking the alcohol with food in your stomach.

#5: In a study of participants who had bariatric surgery vs. those who did not, blood alcohol levels were 0.08 in the bariatric surgery group v 0.05 in the non-surgery group after 1 drink, indicating that blood alcohol levels were almost double in the bariatric surgery group v. the non-surgery group after both groups consumed the same amount of alcohol.

The best choice is to stick with water and any sugar-free, non-carbonated beverages instead of alcohol.