Clear Liquid Protein After Bariatric Surgery

Clear Liquid Protein After Bariatric Surgery - Bariatric Fusion

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing decision for those battling obesity but requires lifestyle changes, including following a clear liquid diet.

As you may already know, the dietary stages following bariatric surgery depend on your recovery progress and tolerance to solid foods. During the initial days after the surgery, a clear liquid diet is required to allow the digestive system to recover, emphasizing high protein intake.

Bariatric clear protein is a suitable option during this stage as it is gentle on the stomach, supports adequate nutrition, aligns with the requirements of a clear liquid diet, and aids in muscle recovery.*

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the benefits of clear bariatric protein, explore options, and provide valuable tips on incorporating it into your post-bariatric surgery diet. Get ready to discover how this protein source can support your surgical recovery while nourishing your body!*

Clear Liquid Diet

A clear liquid diet is typically recommended before and initially after bariatric surgery.

This diet consists of clear liquids such as:

  • Water
  • Broth
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Clear juices
  • Gelatin
  • Sugar-free popsicles

This diet phase limits:

  • Solid foods
  • Dairy products
  • Carbonated beverages

This type of diet can be challenging to follow, especially for those who are used to eating solid foods. However, reducing the risk of complications during and after surgery is necessary. (1)

In addition to following a clear liquid diet, consuming enough protein to support healing and maintain muscle mass is essential. This can be achieved by adding protein supplements to clear liquids or consuming clear-liquid protein drinks.*

Remember to follow your healthcare provider's guidelines closely, and don't hesitate to reach out for support from your healthcare team.

Bariatric Clear Protein Shakes

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) now recommends that all patients follow Enhanced Recovery After Bariatric Surgery (ERABS) to improve post-op outcomes. This process includes pre-op exercises, clear liquids, and individualized nutrition goals. (2)

ERABS also includes implementing a low-sugar or sugar-free, clear-liquid meal plan, including bariatric clear protein, initially following surgery for recovery. (2)

Bariatric clear protein is a protein supplement designed specifically for bariatric patients. It is a liquid supplement that is clear and does not contain any solids or particles.

A clear protein supplement easily dissolves in water, creating a refreshing drink that is light and gentle on the stomach. A standard whey protein is thicker and creamier, making it suitable for a full-liquid diet.

Clear protein shakes are suitable during the clear liquid diet phase after bariatric surgery to support protein goals during recovery.*

4 Benefits of Bariatric Clear Protein

4 benefits of bariatric clear protein

Clear protein drinks are made by isolating the protein from the liquid and filtering it to remove any remaining solids or impurities. This results in a smooth, clear liquid that is easy to digest and absorb.

The four main benefits of clear protein include:

  1. Easy to Digest: After bariatric surgery, your digestive system may be sensitive and unable to handle solid food. Clear protein drinks are easy to digest and do not strain your digestive system. (3)

  2. Convenient: Bariatric clear protein can be found as a powder you mix or in already prepared bottles, easy for on-the-go.

  3. High-Quality Protein: Clear protein drinks are rich in high-quality protein essential for muscle growth and repair. Protein also helps to keep you feeling full.*

  4. Variety: Many different flavors and brands of clear protein drinks are available, so you can choose the one that suits your taste preferences.

Clear protein drinks can also provide additional benefits beyond protein content. For example, some clear protein drinks contain added vitamins and minerals to support overall health and nutrient intake after bariatric surgery.*

Bariatric Clear Protein Options

When selecting a clear protein drink, choosing one that is low calorie, low sugar, and high in protein is essential. Clear protein is typically in the form of whey protein isolate, offering a lactose-free, high-quality protein choice perfect for bariatric patients. Following your healthcare provider's guidelines regarding when and how much to consume is also necessary.

There are typically two options for clear protein drinks, including clear protein powders and pre-packaged beverages.

Clear Protein Powders

Clear protein powders are convenient and versatile. They can be easily mixed into liquids or incorporated into smoothies, soups, sugar-free Jell-O, or sugar-free popsicles. Just keep in mind that recipes should be suitable for the diet stage you are in.

Ready-to-Drink Clear Protein Beverages

These pre-packaged beverages offer quick and convenient protein support, making them ideal for on-the-go individuals or those with a busy lifestyle.*

Tips for Incorporating Bariatric Clear Protein into Your Diet

The first step should be consulting with your healthcare team and dietitian on the appropriate grams of protein and specific recommendations for your individual needs.

Once you have clear recommendations, try experimenting with protein flavors suitable for your diet. Typical protein options per diet stage include:

  • 2-3 days post-surgery: Clear liquid diet and bariatric clear protein drinks are suitable.

  • 1-2 weeks post-surgery: Full liquid diet, including whey, soy, or other complete protein options are suitable.

  • 3-4 weeks post-surgery: Pureed/soft food diet, including whey, soy, or other complete protein options are suitable, as well as foods that fit the consistency recommendations given to you by your dietitian or healthcare provider.

  • For life: Opt for lean dietary protein sources, and if additional support is needed, whey protein shakes or other complete protein options are suitable.

Remember that your intake will significantly decrease after surgery, so consume the recommended amount of protein daily and consider spreading your intake throughout the day.

With protein on the mind, hydration is quickly forgotten. Dehydration is one of the most common but preventable causes of readmission to the hospital after bariatric surgery. A study with 99 post-operative patients identified that almost 25% were readmitted for dehydration. (4)

Not only is dehydration common due to restricted intake, but there is also a chance of dehydration on a high-protein diet. (5) The breakdown of protein requires fluids for adequate absorption and metabolizing. Water is also needed to help excrete waste products resulting from protein metabolism, like urea. Staying hydrated by consuming adequate water alongside your bariatric clear protein intake is essential.


Bariatric clear protein drinks provide a convenient and effective solution for individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery and need to consume protein and essential nutrients while following a clear liquid diet.

These drinks offer several benefits, including support for weight loss, muscle recovery, satiety, and nutritional balance.*

It is crucial to closely follow your healthcare provider's guidelines and seek advice from a healthcare professional before making any dietary changes.


  1. Nutrients. 2021; 13(5):1675 [PMID: 34063333]
  2. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2020; 16(2):175-247 [PMID: 31917200]
  3. StatPearls Publishing. 2023 []
  4. Rev Gastroenterol Mex (Engl Ed). 2021 [PMID: 34972678]
  5. Adv Nutr. 2015; 6(3):260-266 [PMID: 25979491]

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your bariatric surgeon or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.

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