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Why no Caffeine?

on 10/13/12 7:10 pm
RNY on 09/05/12

Why are the RNY patients told to stay away from caffeine?  I am a sweet tea addict, but have grown to like tea with Spenda instead, but I still feel that I will need my caffiene when I  go back to work next week.  I leave my house at 6am and have an hour commute, work a 10 hr shift and then the commute home... believe me, caffeine is needed.... why is it off limits?


HW 304   SW 258  CW 199  GW  160?

on 10/13/12 7:14 pm
Some surgeons will say never. Others allow it after a period of time.

It's the acid that early out isn't good for a healing pouch. It's also known as having diuretic affects.

I drinks lots of coffee it doesn't bother me. I was instructed to wait 3-6 months for full fledged coffee and did caffeine free early out.

Proximal RNY Lap - 02/21/05

 9 years committed ~  100% EWL and Maintaining


Calla Lily
on 10/13/12 7:14 pm
RNY on 01/23/12
 For me, it wasn't off limits, but some people's plan it is. Maybe it can upset tummy or cause ulcers.

RNY 01/23/12, HW 265, CW 115, Height 5'6"


on 10/13/12 7:16 pm
RNY on 08/27/12
I was told it can cause an ulcer and it makes you dehydrate.

Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 10/13/12 7:46 pm, edited 10/14/12 6:49 pm - OH
I was never told to stay away from caffeine, BUT we were to limit coffee (along with some other liquids like tomato, V8, and citrus juices) the first few weeks while the pouch was healing because of the acid in them. Once the pouch was mostly healed, we were permitted caffeine.

The diuretic effect of caffeine is minimal, but that is sometimes cited by nutritionists as the reason to avoid caffeine. See the following sites for studies that show that caffeine is NOT a significant diuretic (you can also do a Google search for other studies):

(Edited to add: Sorry, it looks like the Mayo Clinic folks took away the links to the other studies that were initially on the link I provided above... But I will leave the link to their site so people can see the general answer because at least it lets folks know that the Mayo Clinic -- a reputable place, LOL -- says caffeine is not a significant diuretic. I hate when sites take links away, but I guess it is better not to have them at all rather than have links that don't work...)


 7 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

“You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.”


on 10/13/12 8:01 pm, edited 10/13/12 8:02 pm
My guideline was to stay off coffee (regular and decaf) for one month.
I had herbal tea in the morning because I like something hot in the morning.
They did not say anything about caffeine in general...although carbonated beverages are a no-no.
They said that coffee in general is very acidic...and some people do not tolerate it well.

At one month, I started drinking decaf coffee...decaf was my previous norm.
My blood pressure has gone down with losing 60 pounds, so I even have an occasional cup of regular coffee.
on 10/13/12 8:15 pm
RNY on 06/12/12
We were told it's because caffine is known to stimulate the appetite. 
Laura in Texas
on 10/14/12 7:32 am - Cypress, TX
I was told this by my surgeon, too. But I drink tons and it does not seem to increase mine.

on 10/13/12 11:41 pm
 Wow, so many different response to this.  We were told only decaf in the beginning.  I couldn't even gag down any decaf tea or coffee until about a month ago and I am at 5 months.  Now I have a double espresso every morning and doesn't bother me.  If anything, I never am constipated because it gets my system going.  But I also take a prilosec everyday and do not eat or drink any other acidic products at this point.  
It's whatever our surgeon's protocol says.  I like Lora's surgeons protocol from when she had her surgery 5 years ago because hers seems to be the most logical and normal protocol of all.  Jane 
on 10/14/12 7:47 am - Rochester, NY
 i was a major caffiene addict prior to surgery.  we were told to hold off due to ulcers and potential appetite stimulant early out.  i haven't had caffiene since the day before my surgery and i have never felt better.  the detox from it sucked, but it's great to not be beholden to a stimulant anymore

Follow my vegan transition at
HW:288    CW:146.4   GW: 140    RNY: 12/22/11  


Amanda M.
on 10/14/12 9:49 am
RNY on 07/26/12
 My NUT said that it can irritate the pouch and increase the possibility of dehydration.  I'm almost 3 months out now and I drink 8-16oz a day of half caff (with the okay from my NUT) or decaff.  I did have full caffeine once without thinking and it make me feel like my skin was crawling... too much may do that to you post-op.  You know how alcohol will hit you harder because of all your intestinal alterations?  Same goes for caffeine for me :)  i would ask your NUT.  As long as you're getting your water in and it doesn't irritate your pouch I don't see any reason it would be a problem.

Visit me at my website: or at Flickr / Facebook /Twitter 

Surgery on: July 26th, 2012     Highest (Known) Weight: 365    Current Weight: 272

on 10/14/12 10:04 am, edited 10/14/12 10:05 am - OH
My guide to surgery book says, "Caffeine acts as a diuretic, which means loss of fluids."  Also to avoid caffeine after surgery.

For every 8oz of caffeine you drink, you would have to add and additional 8 oz of a non-caffeinated beverage making it hard to meet your fluid goals.  BUT you should only get (YOUR individual information from) your NUT. 

RNY 10/29/12   HW:  295   SW: 273    DGW: 170   MGW: 145


Citizen (USA & Brit)

on 10/14/12 11:10 am, edited 10/14/12 11:10 am - Castle Rock, CO
Sorry, but that is not true!!!   There are many studies to show that "normal" coffee consumption is not dehydrating:

Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Socialist Liberal 

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Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 10/14/12 11:53 am - OH
Just because someone's surgery guide says something, or just because someone's nutritionist (or surgeon) says something, does not make it true, of course. A lot of people have nutritionists who are clueless and some give patients downright dangerously bad information.


 7 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

“You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.”


on 10/14/12 2:48 pm, edited 10/14/12 9:48 pm
RNY on 10/26/12 with
It's because it can dehydrate and early on it's a concern. Additionally, it can be an appetite stimulant.

After a few months, you can reintroduce it.
on 10/14/12 3:21 pm
 Hmmmm, so many different reasons.  Interestingly, my NUT told me it was because it would be a waste of space and calories when I should be focusing on hydration or protein.    I've determined that this is total crap.   I now drink decaf (though it has a little caffeine in it) with protein powder and skim milk in it.  I figure this way I'm not only getting in my protein in a way that feeds my old habit, but it also helps me get fluids in through the morning when I'm bad about drinking cold things.

Heather   Mom to 3  
Surgery August 9, 2012
HW = 225, SW= 205, CW 135 


Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 10/14/12 5:23 pm - OH
Yeah, I think you are getting bad info. How could a liquid be a waste of pouch space?? Also, plain coffee (no cream, etc.) and most caffeinated teas (and diet soda, of course) have almost no calories (or none at all), so that is no reason to avoid the basic caffeinated drinks either. (Obviously, special coffee drinks and those kinds of things MIGHT have a significant number of calories.)

I hate to say it, but based on the above, I would keep a healthy skepticism about what your nutritionist says.


 7 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

“You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.”


Paul C.
on 10/14/12 3:25 pm - Cumming, GA
RNY on 07/16/10 with
If we can't have coffee I am so screwed!

I would have a coffee IV if allowed.
Paul C.
First 5K 9/27/20 46:32 - 11 weeks post op  (PR 28:55 8/15/11)
First 10K 7/04/2011 1:03      
      First 15K 9/18/2011 1:37
First Half Marathon 10/02/2011 2:27:44 (
PR 2:24:35)   
First Half Ironman 9/30/12 7:32:04
Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 10/14/12 5:28 pm - OH
You mean that, with all that coffee, you're not so dehydrated that you can barely stand up without getting dizzy, let alone run, swim, bike...?!?

It's a little thing in the realm of weight loss, but it seems like more and more people are getting incorrect info from their nutritionists. Maybe because the number of bariatric surgeons has skyrocketed and they all need nutritionists even if these nutritionists know nothing about current nutritional research or post-WLS nutritional and digestive processes...? If I were a surgeon, I would be damn sure that anyone working with my patients was giving correct information and guidance!


 7 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

“You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.”