Protein is the most important nutrient in the bariatric diet. The benefits of protein for the weight loss surgery patient include proper wound healing after bariatric surgery, formation of hormones, enzymes and immune system antibodies, burning of fat instead of muscle, support of your natural metabolism, and control of hunger between meals.
It can be difficult to get the required amount of protein following gastric bypass surgery from foods alone, so many bariatric surgery patients supplement their diets with liquid proteins such as cold drinks, soups, puddings, and shakes.
There are a number of protein drinks on the market, and there are meaningful differences that separate one from another. Some things to consider when choosing a protein shake are the type of protein the shake contains, how much protein is in each serving, how much sugar had been added, how much fat has been added, and how many other substances such as food coloring or artificial sweeteners are in the drink.
The shakes that are favored by most people are made from whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and soy protein. If you are lactose intolerant, shakes that are made from whey protein isolate or soy protein should be your choice.
When choosing a protein powder, read the label to see how many grams of protein there are in each serving. Select a product with at least 15 grams of protein. General protein needs for a bariatric diet are in the 60-80g per day range.
Choose protein drinks with as little sugar and fat content as possible to avoid dumping syndrome. Less than 5 grams of either is the recommended amount.
I loved my protein shakes after I had my gastric bypass surgery because they were a quick breakfast that satisfied my craving for something sweet. I became very creative making recipes for delicious shakes while using a few zero carb protein powders as my base.
My bariatric nutritionist said I needed 60 g of protein and 30 g of carbs daily. She said that I should build up to 80 g of protein and 40 g of carbs. So, I chose very low or zero carb protein powders to address the challenge of keeping the daily carbs that low. If you wish to access a few of the recipes I used, refer to my shareposts on Fruity Protein Shake Recipes
and Coffee Protein Shake Recipes.
My favorite low/zero carb protein powders for my bariatric diet are:
- Champion Nutrition Pure Whey Protein Stack 26g protein, 1.5 carbs, 1.5 fat, 125 cals
- Syntrax Nectar Whey Protein Isolate 23g protein, 0 carbs, 0 fat, 90 cals
- Protica Profect Bullets 25g protein, 0 carbs, 0 fat, 100 cals
Champion Nutrition has the best taste of the chocolate protein powders I have tried. I have gotten the best results putting almond milk and ice into a blender with the protein powder to create a creamy shake. My favorite flavors are Cocoa-Mochacinno, Chocolate, and Vanilla.
Fruit-flavored protein powders such as Syntrax Nectar are great if simply mixed with ice and cold water. Blending lots of ice into the mix makes a refreshing protein slushy. My personal favorites are Roadside Lemonade, Carribean Cooler, and Pina Colada Protein Drink.
While Protica Profect Bullets are not flavored to my taste, they pack 25g of protein into 2.9 ounces. I recommend these because those weight loss patients who have a new small pouch cannot tolerate volume. The 25g of protein in only 2.9 ounces makes it easy for the new bariatric patient to get the protein that they need.