There has been quite a buzz going around our clinic about energy drinks for a while. With the shear number of energy drinks on the market and that dang appealing advertising they have, it’s hard to miss them. I mean, who doesn’t want to hang glide off a cliff only to land in an arena for a bull fight?! 🙂

 I figure, what better time to talk about energy drinks than during our month of fluids! So hang on to your seats, we are going to get some facts straight about energy drinks…the good, the bad, and the energy. 


What are energy drinks? 

Energy drinks vary across the market. They boast the ability to improve alertness and concentration through a stimulant, which is most commonly caffeine. Typically, an energy drink will contain caffeine, vitamins, sugar, and various supplements and additives. The amounts of these ingredients are different in each brand of drink. For example, caffeine in the energy drinks range from 80 mg to 300 mg. 

Are energy drinks safe? 

The safety of energy drinks has been debated and researched for quite some time, specifically related to the levels of caffeine. Recent research reports that a caffeine intake of 400mg/day or less in a healthy adult is considered safe. However, lower amounts of caffeine intake (less than 100mg/day) can improve exercise, endurance, and mood. Higher amounts of caffeine can lead to headache, fatigue, and anxiety. 

What about after a bariatric surgery?

There are several factors to consider with energy drinks after a bariatric surgery.

  • Calories- The amount of sugar in these drinks can be detrimental to your weight loss. If it is less than 15 calories per 8 oz then it is fine to have. 
  • Caffeine- Limit energy drink consumption to one 16.9 oz can daily. This will count as your total caffeine allotment for the day. So avoid other tea or coffee beverages and focus on hydrating fluids. 
  • Carbonation- Many energy drinks are carbonated. Be careful to select a drink that is non-carbonated because of the harmful effects of carbonation on the stomach after bariatric surgery. 

So there you have it…energy drinks in strict moderation along with the above mentioned guidelines can be used after a bariatric surgery. However, these general rules do not take precedence over individual guidelines provided by your healthcare team. If you have questions or concerns about individual use, please contact your dietitian.

And if you are curious to read more scientific research about energy drinks, click here for a great article published in Today’s Dietitian.  ~Lauren 

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