Woman holding a blender container with healthy vegetable smoothie—one of the best alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery

7 Alternatives to Protein Shakes After Bariatric Surgery

Following bariatric surgery, patients are often advised to drink protein shakes to help them meet their protein needs. But it is definitely possible to get tired of your shakes, so you may want to look into alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery - and that’s what we’ll cover today!

If the thought of chugging back just one more of your bariatric surgery protein shakes has you feeling queasy, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll provide you with some other nutritious, protein-filled, and easy-to-digest options for your post-surgery snacks.

Bear in mind that for the first day or two following bariatric surgery, you need to stick to the clear bariatric liquid diet. The exact time frame you are told to drink clear liquids depends on your doctor, so make sure you speak with them for clarification.

Once you are cleared to ingest a few more options, and are thoroughly tired of protein shakes, here is a list of alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery for you to enjoy.

7 delicious alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery

While some flavors of protein powder for bariatric patients can be pretty darn tasty (we’re looking at you, creamy vanilla), drinking even the tastiest of shakes can become positively grueling when you’re having them every day. 

If you’re looking for alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery, here are seven options that will meet your protein needs while giving you a little variety.

1. Bone broth

Bone broth is often hailed as a miracle elixir, and for good reason. This humble beverage is packed with ingredients (including collagen) that can support gut health, joint function, and even the immune system.

But what many people don't realize is that bone broth can also be an excellent post-bariatric surgery beverage for your bariatric liquid diet, and one of your alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery.

There are a few reasons why bone broth is such an excellent alternative to protein shakes for people who have undergone bariatric surgery. 

First, it is very easy to digest. This is important because the stomach and intestines take time to heal after surgery.

Bone broth is also a great source of protein. Protein is essential for healing and repair, and it can also help to control hunger. In fact, studies have shown that protein is one of the most important nutrients for weight loss and weight maintenance.

Another benefit of bone broth is that it contains collagen. It is known for its role in supporting skin, hair, and nails. But collagen also plays an important role in gut health.

Collagen for gut health can heal your gut lining and improve gut motility. This is important because a healthy gut is essential for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance.

Finally, bone broth is also a good source of minerals, which are absolutely crucial for every element of the human body.

2. Soups

Soup is another of our recommended alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery. Many soups are easy to digest and are packed with nutrients that can help you heal and recover from surgery, and some are filling enough to be considered a bariatric meal replacement.

There are a few things to bear in mind when choosing a soup for your post-bariatric surgery meals. Make sure that the soup is easy to digest, that it is high in protein, and that it is also low in calories.

Bariatric surgery operations can be tremendously effective, but you should also work to reduce your weight by lowering calories.

There are many different kinds of high protein soups available as alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery, so you should be able to find one that meets your needs. With a little bit of planning, you can easily make a delicious and nutritious high protein soup that will help you reach your weight loss goals.

3. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is also a great choice as one of your alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery. Cottage cheese is a solid source of protein and is a bariatric meal replacement that most people can tolerate.

Just be sure that when you’re eating cottage cheese as one of your alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery you:

  • Choose a low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese. As we mentioned above, getting the surgery is only half the story. You also need to do the work involved, and this means reducing calories. Going for these options will help with this.

  • Watch your portion size. Same as above. It is up to you to lower calories by keeping your portion sizes in check. A general guideline is to aim for ½ cup of cottage cheese per day.

  • Add another nutrient rich food. Cottage cheese is a good source of protein, but it doesn’t have all the nutrients your body needs. Try pairing cottage cheese with blended vegetables to get some of your liquid bariatric vitamins and minerals and make it a bariatric meal replacement.

  • Watch the lactose. Some people become lactose-intolerant after bariatric surgery. While cottage cheese has lower lactose than most cheeses, it still has some. If you find yourself reacting when you have some, either stop eating it or look for a lactose free version.

4. Vegetable juices

Vegetable juices are not always thought of as a good option for people on a liquid diet, but they can actually be beneficial as one of your alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery. Juicing veggies is an easy way to pack in more nutrition into your daily routine—and it doesn't have to be boring either!

When creating vegetable juices specifically designed for a liquid diet, it’s important to focus on high-protein vegetables such as green peas, kale, and broccoli. These nutrient-dense greens will provide essential vitamins and minerals while also helping to keep you full for longer. 

In addition to supplying protein, these veggies are also packed with antioxidants and fiber that can help reduce inflammation and improve digestion.

Another great benefit of veggie juice for those on a liquid diet is that it can be made in bulk and then stored in the fridge. This makes meal prep easier and allows one to enjoy nutrient-dense drinks without having to worry about constantly making fresh batches. Simply blend, pour, and sip!

Furthermore, vegetable juices are incredibly versatile and can be combined with other ingredients to create delicious flavor combinations. For instance, combining carrots, spinach, and lemon juice is a great way to make an immune-boosting and energizing drink. 

Or blending celery, ginger, and cucumber can create a refreshing and cooling beverage that can help reduce inflammation.

Organic vegetables are always best when thinking about alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery, as they don’t contain any harmful pesticides or other chemicals. 

Finally, remember to enjoy the process and experiment with different flavors and ingredients. It can be easy to focus on the nutritional aspect of veggie juice—but don't forget to also make it enjoyable! 

With patience and practice, anyone on a liquid diet can start creating delicious vegetable juices that will leave them feeling energized and nourished, giving them another option of alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery.

5. Unsweetened soy milk

Unsweetened soy milk is another great option for alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery. It's low in calories, fat-free, and cholesterol-free, making it a healthier choice than other forms of milk products. Plus, it contains high levels of protein to help you stay satiated during your liquid diet period. 

Not to mention, soy milk is lactose-free and vegan, making it the perfect choice for those who have trouble digesting dairy or are looking for a plant-based alternative. 

If you're on a liquid diet post surgery, consider adding unsweetened soy milk to your meal plan! It may just be the key ingredient to help make your bariatric journey a success.

6. Yogurt

Yogurt is the last of our alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery and the perfect partner for a bariatric surgery success story! 

After your surgery, you need to take extra care of your body and make sure you're getting all the nutrients it needs. Yogurt is a great way to do that as it's packed full of protein (particularly greek yogurt) and calcium, which is a key nutrient and plays a crucial role in health.

Plus, it's easy to digest – a great choice for those who have difficulty digesting solid foods after bariatric surgery. It's also delicious and versatile, as you can easily customize your yogurt with other healthy liquid ingredients. 

Yogurt contains probiotics too, which will help keep your gut in tip-top shape. 

7. Liquid protein shots

Bariatric protein shots are the ace in the hole for many people recovering from bariatric surgery - especially those who can’t stand the idea of another protein shake. There are a few reasons why we recommend it as one of our top alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery.

ProT Gold liquid protein shots are absolutely packed full of protein, with a whopping 17.5 of protein per serving. Having a couple a day will help you reach your daily protein goals with ease. And drinking them is effortless, considering the yummy berry and orange creme flavors they come in.

They don’t contain just any protein, either. They’re stacked full of nano-hydrolyzed collagen protein, which contains no lactose, meaning there is no chance of any nasty reactions like there would be with whey protein.

Collagen also comes with a bunch of benefits: In fact, doctors regularly use collagen for wound healing, which means it is perfect for you after surgery.

Most collagen protein does not contain tryptophan, which means it is actually an incomplete protein, but ProT Gold adds tryptophan to its bariatric protein shots to make it a complete protein, so it’s extremely easy for your body to utilize post-surgery. 

Not only are ProT Gold protein shots yummy, but they come in easy to drink single serve pouches. They also contain hydrolyzed collagen, so your body can absorb all the protein in them quickly and give you a whole host of healing benefits from the collagen itself.