Monday, October 05, 2009

Coffee and Caffeine

The question comes up a lot on the WLS forums. A lot of people wonder if they can drink coffee after WLS or not. The standard answer is "follow your surgeon's guidelines", of course. And many surgeon's recommend staying away from coffee for the first 6 months to a year - some say it is fine right after surgery... so figure out what the recommendation is from your medical team and follow that advice.
But for those wondering the pros and cons, here's the scoop on coffee and caffeine:
  • for some caffeine can be an appetite stimulant
  • for some caffeine can be an appetite suppressant
  • for some caffeine can cause stomach upset and digestive discomfort
  • for some caffeine can promote ulcers or thinning of the lining in the stomach
  • for some caffeine aids in gastric motility (keeps you regular)
  • for some caffeine can increase heart rates and blood pressure
  • in large amounts (over 400mg/day or 32oz brewed coffee) caffeine can cause dehydration
  • caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption if taken in large amounts (300mg/day or 20oz)
  • tannins in coffee (more so in tea) interferes with iron absorption
  • Tannins inhibit B12 as well and there are Anti-Thiamin Factors (ATF) in coffee and tea (caf and decaf) will eat thiamin in the body.  (Thanks to Andrea U. for the information about interfering the B's.)
Knowing all the risk factors and possible benefits is key to making the decision about whether to have coffee regularly or not.


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