Bariatric Vitamin and Supplement Guidelines
You will require vitamin supplementation after bariatric surgery. Typically the risk of taking too many vitamins is very low compared to the risk of not having enough of a particular vitamin. For this reason and others, we typically recommend that all patients who have undergone bariatric surgery follow the suggestions that are made for after the gastric bypass.
Vitamins need to become part of your daily routine
There are many different vitamins available throughout pharmacies, groceries and health food stores. Be sure to read the label on the back of the bottles so that you understand the ingredients. You should try to take 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) each day.
For Gastric bypass Patients (Recommended for others as well)
- Calcium citrate w/ vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
Gastric band and Gastric Sleeve(Minimum Required)
- Vitamin B12
General Guidelines for Taking Multivitamins
- Take vitamins with food. If you take in on an empty stomach, you might experience nausea.
- Do not choose time release vitamins or gummy texture vitamins
- Vitamins should be of the chewable or liquid kind
- Weight loss surgery specific vitamins are available if you are interested; however they are not covered by insurance.
Examples of Multivitamins
- Centrum adult chewable – take 1 a day
- Prenatal chewable vitamin – take 1 a day
- Centrum silver chewable – take 1 a day
- Centrum junior or Flintstones complete – take 2 a day
- Centrum liquid – 1 dose
- Vitamin Shoppe liquid MVI – 1 dose
- Celebrate vitamin – take 1 a day
Guidelines for taking calcium
- Take calcium citrate only. Do NOT purchase calcium carbonate. Be sure to look at the ingredient list to identify calcium citrate and calcium carbonate.
- The daily requirement is 1200 mg. Most calcium citrate pills come in 600 mg. The body only absorbs about 600 mg at a time. Therefore, calcium supplements should be taken twice a day to meet the requirement.
- Please read the nutrition label carefully for dosage information.
Examples of Calcium Supplements
- Citracal + vitamin D
- Calcium citrate 600 mg + vitamin D
- Upcal + vitamin D
- Twin labs calcium
- Citrate chewable wafers
Guidelines for taking iron
- Take iron as prescribed
- Do not take it with calcium. Take them 2 to 4 hours apart
Protein Supplementation Guidelines
There are almost as many brands and types of protein supplements as there are types of food. You are free to choose any brand, flavor, type or price that you wish. As you shop for your protein supplements, keep few things in mind:
- Choose a supplement that provides about 18 to 30 grams of protein per serving
- Choose a supplement that provides less than 10 grams of sugar and fat per serving
- Find a protein shake that you accept as palatable (after surgery) and that the preparation fits into your lifestyle
Long-Term Protein Supplementation
You may rely on protein supplements long-term to meet your protein goals, but remember to account for the calories they provide into your daily meal plan.
Protein supplements can be found in any grocery stores, health food stores or specialty vitamin stores. Examples include: Designer whey protein, Isopure low carb, EAS whey protein powder, EAS Lean protein powder, Unjury or Pure protein low carb shakes. You can also find protein supplements online.
Protein supplements come as powders and liquids to mix with either water or skim milk. They also come premixed in cans and packets that are more convenient to carry around. The price ranges from approximately $6/case of 4 cans to $30 or more per can of powder, depending on the brand. With all these choices, there is no reason you would not be able to consume the required amount of protein. It is highly recommended that you vary the flavors and the source.
Nutritional supplements such as Ensure, Boost, Nutrament and many of the Slimfast products are not typically recommended as they are often high in sugar and fat content and do not contain enough protein content per serving.
Remember to read labels on protein supplements as well
Examples of protein supplements include:
- Bariatric Advantage Ready-to-Shake Meal Replacement & Pudding. Each individual lightweight bottle contains a pre-measured serving of powder. Just add water and shake for a full meal replacement. Each serving provides 100 calories, 15 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates and 1.5 grams of fat. They are fully fortified, with 5 servings providing 100 percent of the RDA for required nutrients. This product is available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Lactose free and sucralose sweetened,
- Advocare individual packets mix with water & ice provide 24 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbohydrates. This product is available in berry, vanilla, or chocolate flavors.
- Nectar mixes instantly, aspartame free, zero carbohydrates, zero fat, 23 grams of whey protein.
- Isopure provides 40 grams of protein in 20 oz fluid. Available flavors: Passion Fruit, Pineapple Orange Banana, Mango Peach, Alpine Punch, Icy Orange, Grape Frost, Apple Melon, and Blue Raspberry.
- Pro-Stat is a ready to use liquid protein. Each 30 mL (one ounce) dose contains 15 grams of hydrolyzed protein. Pro-Stat requires no mixing, although you may find that it’s more enjoyable by mixing it with a cup of tea, sugar-free cranberry juice, or sugar free gelatin.
- Beneprotein individual 0.25 oz. packets provide 6 grams of powdered protein. It is a non-flavored protein powder than can be added to regular food.
- New Whey individual 3 oz or 5 oz vials provide 25 or 42 grams of liquid protein. Found at Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, or online.
- Unjury individual serving will provide 20 grams of protein. Available in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry sorbet, chicken broth flavored, or unflavored.
Try mixing your protein shakes with skim milk
Protein shakes come in many different flavors and consistency. You can thicken the consistency of your protein shake by mixing it with protein fortified skim milk instead of water.