After your bariatric surgery, adequate protein and fluid intake are essential to a successful recovery. Most patients will go home from the hospital on a liquid diet for 3 weeks. The liquid diet is prescribed to provide a concentrated source of nutrition that will empty from the stomach easily and allow for healing. The liquid diet will consist of fluid to provide nutrition and fluids to provide hydration.

** Nutrition supplements should contain no more than 15-20 grams of sugar and at least 13 grams of protein in 8-12 fluid ounces. Fluids to provide hydration should be low or no calorie (5-10 calories per serving) and have no carbonation or caffeine.


Nutrition Supplements
Sip 2 oz or 1/4 cup every hour

  • No sugar added Carnation Instant Breakfast and skim or 1% milk
  • 8 fluid oz skim milk with 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder (16 total grams of protein)
  • Boost High Protein, Ensure High Protein or Boost Glucose Control at the grocery store
  • Whey or soy protein (Carb solutions, Spiru-tein, Designer Whey)
  • EAS low sugar, high protein drinks(
  • Low Sugar Ensure (Glucerna)
  • Slimfast Low Carb (available at most grocery stores)

Tip: To increase the protein content of your liquids, add dry milk powder or protein powder that is whey or soy based

Hydration Fluids
Sip 2 oz every 15 minutes

  • Water
  • Crystal light
  • Sugar free Kool Aid drink mix
  • Unsweetened decaffeinated tea
  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • Clear juice diluted 50/50 with
  • water
  • Fruit 2O
  • Broth
  • Sugar-free popsicles
  • Propel fitness water
  • Strained low fat soup
  • Low sodium tomato juice

You may use artificial sweeteners

Please do not start the soft solid foods until you have been instructed to do so by your surgeon or dietitian

Tip: It is common to experience taste changes after surgery. For this reason we recommend trying a variety of the above fluids and only purchasing a large amount of them after your surgery and after you know you can drink them.

Preventing Dehydration

Dehydration is one of the most common complications after bariatric surgery In addition to drinking 2 oz of a high protein fluid every hour you are required to consume 2 oz of a calorie free, caffeine free, non-carbonated beverage, every 15 minutes while awake. The goal is for a minimum of 64 fluid oz per day. Using the following schedule it will take you about 12-15 hours each day to reach your fluid goal. Remember to sip slowly and to not use straws.

Sample fluid schedule for your first 3 weeks at home

  • 8:00 am: 2 oz high protein liquid
  • 8:15 am: 2 oz water
  • 8:30 am: 2 oz non-calorie liquid (ex. Crystal Light)
  • 8:45 am: 2 oz broth
  • 9:00 am: 2 oz high protein liquid

Your goal is to consume at least:

40-60 grams of protein via your nutritional supplement
64 oz or 8 cups of hydration fluid to stay hydrated each day

Note: While taking fluid in 2 oz or 1/4 cup servings this may take as much as 12-15 hours each day.