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Is Sparkling Water Bad After Weight-Loss Surgery?

I had one long stall pretty quickly after surgery, and, once again, the scale isn’t moving. I’m tracking my intake more closely now than I have been, but I’m also looking for things that I could or should be doing differently.

Sparkling water is my favorite beverage by far. Sometimes I drink flavored ones, but my absolute favorite drink is unflavored La Croix. I love it more than I used to love cake. There’s nothing more satisfying (in the way of food things) than starting the day or going home and enjoying a sparkling water.

Some people enjoy a glass of wine or a beer. All I want is a glass of bubbly…bubbly water.

Earlier this week a good friend who had lap band surgery was surprised to learn that I was drinking sparkling water at dinner. (I don’t usually drink anything during my meal, but I drink before it and after.)

She said that she saw someone put a carbonated beverage in a ziplock bag only to watch the bag expand due to the bubbles. She was told that the same thing could happen to our stomachs if we drink water. I immediately stopped drinking the sparkling water and started looking for answers.

I tried calling the dietitian I met with at my surgeon’s office, but they’ve never seemed interested in giving guidance beyond the 8 weeks after surgery. I hope she calls me back, but I asked people about it all day.

One of my co-workers, whose career is based on health and wellness, said that the difference between our bodies and a ziplock is that our bodies allow air to escape.

Everyone else I discussed this with recognized that it’s unhealthy to drink sodas (regular and diet,) and I agree. I haven’t had a soft drink of any kind since April 2, 2009. It’s been almost 8 years since I drank a Coke. Obviously, that garbage isn’t good for you, but does that same go for carbonated water?

Has anyone reading this had the gastric sleeve surgery? Were you told not to drink sparkling water?

Is sparkling water getting a bad rap because it’s unfairly being linked to soft drinks?



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  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Hi kenlie! As you know ive had VSG. Our program says carbonation is a no, no….but i drink the sparkling 0 calorie waters on a regular basis. To my understanding, some people cant tolerate them, but ive no issues with them at all.

    • Reply
      March 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      I spoke to my dietitian today, and she said some people can’t tolerate them. I can though, and it’s fine. It doesn’t hurt or stretch my stomach. Score! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 1:08 am

    I think it might help to read about insulin production (triggered by eating and drinking and also thinking about food) and insulin resistance. If you are drinking flavored water, even though it does not have calories, all day, you are probably producing insulin, all day. If you are going to drink something flavored, you might consider drinking it at a meal. Plain water the rest of the time helps.

    • Reply
      March 17, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      I don’t drink flavored water often. I usually drink unflavored because I prefer it.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 3:58 am

      Heidi and Kenlie, how long after did you have to wait for plain carbonated water? I am too close to surgery now, but am looking forward to it again someday.

  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 9:31 am

    I had the sleeve only 10 weeks ago-I specifically asked my dietician about sparkling water and she said that I shouldn’t have any carbonation at all – including sparkling water. I miss it but I can live without it.

    • Reply
      March 18, 2017 at 1:10 am

      I couldn’t have handled it 10 weeks out…no way..

  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I had RNY, but I was also told absolutely no carbonation. It’s the one thing I really work to avoid. I was so addicted to pop I don’t want to do anything to trigger a relapse. Your rules might be different since you had VSG.

    Also, I’m so sad to hear about your lack of help/support post op. My surgeon gave me his personal cell phone number and told me to call him if I EVER needed anything or had questions. I’ve only used it twice in 6 years, but each time he’s been nothing but wonderful when I called. His office is the same way.

    • Reply
      March 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      I was told not to have it for a few months at least and that it might bother me if I did. Since it doesn’t she said it’s fine and that it won’t hurt me or my stomach size. Yay!

  • Reply
    Lea Goossen
    March 17, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Hi, I had RNY through Kaiser. Carbonation is on our “NO” list. I think it’s one of those things that is commonly listed as an avoid, but if it works for some they go for it when they are out of recovery.
    Sparkling water doesn’t seem like it would be an issue calorie wise, and I really doubt that carbonation can stretch our stomachs up very much at all.

    I avoid it because one night i was sipping a cider beer (I was about a year out). When I stood up, i faced a horrid pain & suffered all night due to the carbonation. I don’t think I would avoid it if the carbonation didn’t get to me though.

    • Reply
      March 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Yep..My dietitian said that if if doesn’t bother me to drink it I’m fine. It will not stretch out my stomach. Win!

    • Reply
      March 17, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Oh gosh, that sounds awful.

      I’m happy to report that it’s fine and does not stretch your stomach. Whew.

      • Reply
        August 9, 2017 at 9:50 pm

        Thanks for sharing that. Iwas sleeve 1yr ago an iwas wondering if sparkling water would stretch my pouch.

  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Hi, I too have had VSG surgery and was told no carbonated water at all. it’s not about the sugar but the actual carbonation that is bad for your stomach. you may think its not effecting your stomach but it is. Those bubbles are stretching out the stomach you just had reduced. Stop. drinking. carbonated water.

    • Reply
      March 17, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Thankfully, my dietitian called and disagrees with your assessment. Whew! She explained how air escapes, and she also explained that some people can’t tolerate it and some can. She was adamant about the fact that it doesn’t stretch your stomach though…neither does drinking through a straw. I couldn’t do either for a few months after surgery, but they’re both fine now.

      So far, the registered dietitians agree, which works for me.

  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    My friend had bariatric and was told no carbonation… so she stuck to it.. until she tried to drink a mikes hard lemonade at a concert a few years after surgery and got sick.. it took 3 incidents that summer to figure out it was carbonation making her sick! Must be an individualized thing!

    • Reply
      June 15, 2018 at 11:21 am

      It was probably the sugar in the hard lemonade and not the carbonation. She should test the theory drinking a flavored sparkling water….because I too drank a beverage such as that and broke out into a cold sweat and my stomach hurt so bad. Only took one time for me…no more!

      • Reply
        Kimberly Allard
        July 15, 2018 at 5:29 pm

        Definitely the sugar, and that alcohol turns into sugar. I am 20 years out of my surgery and still cannot eat/drink anything with sugar or something with milk sugar. I can eat fruit without a problem. It makes my hear race, sweaty/hot flash feeling, and I often have to lay down afterward. It goes away in about 20 minutes. I don’t drink alcohol often, but when I do, I usually drink it slowly and keep it to just 1.

  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    This was interesting.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Purely non medical advice here but I’ve heard that carbonated beverages can stretch your stomach. However, I have struggled with nausea since my surgery in June and recently discovered on a trip to Germany (in Oct) how much sparkling (carbonated) water helps so I have begun drinking it in moderation. But I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it right after surgery!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for asking your nutritionist/doctor about this. I do think it’s being lumped in with the bad soda. I thankfully can tolerate it no problem.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2018 at 3:29 am

    I just had one tonight with no issue. I also think that it gets lumped in with soda.
    I also LOVE sparking water! It’s my favorite. I hope to start bringing it back in my life. And I too use a straw and have had not one issue. It actually helps me to get in my dally fluids much easier.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    thank goodness! I had stopped drinking sodas way before I had surgery, about a year before. I absolutely love the Sparkling Ice, which is carbonated spring water. I was Sleeved December 2017 and was really scared about trying to drink one again. However, about a month after surgery I got the stomach virus and all I could drink was ginger ale. I was scared to death to do it but it was a store-brand I got and it didn’t bother my stomach. I was scared to call my surgeon that Monday, but, to my surprise, my nurse told me to just keep drinking it, it wouldn’t hurt me. It never did. Now, today, I bit the bullet and bought a Simply Ice to try and before I opened it, I googled and found your question. Well, we’ll see how it goes.

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