Following bariatric surgery, you need lots of protein for your body to heal and maintain muscle mass. Unfortunately, with reduced portion sizes, it can be difficult to get your necessary protein intake from food alone. That’s why it’s important to take protein powder for bariatric patients.
If you’ve started your liquid diet, you may have already begun consuming protein powder for bariatric patients. But is the protein you’re taking the best protein powder for bariatric patients? And are you already bored to tears with the same flavor of protein shakes?
We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll go over the best type of protein powder to take after bariatric surgery (and why). Then, we’ll give you eight tasty recipes to use it in.
So what IS the best protein for bariatric patients? In our opinion, it’s hydrolyzed collagen - and here’s why.
Why collagen is the best protein powder for bariatric patients
Hydrolyzed collagen is the top protein powder for bariatric patients for a number of reasons. Here are just a few of them:
Collagen is hypoallergenic
Collagen protein is hypoallergenic. That means you won’t need to worry about having an allergic reaction to it - which is great news, because no one wants to deal with that post-surgery!
Collagen protein is something your body produces naturally, so as long as you’re getting your collagen protein powder for bariatric patients from a reputable source, you shouldn’t have to worry about side effects.
Collagen is easier to digest
Collagen protein powder for bariatric patients is easier to digest than other powders like whey protein. That's because molecules in collagen are much smaller, and thus, more easily absorbed by your body.
That can make collagen a great option if you are looking for protein powder for bariatric patients but have a sensitive stomach to begin with.
And, as we mentioned above, you should really be looking for hydrolyzed collagen. This is collagen that has gone through the process of hydrolysis to break the molecules down into even smaller pieces.
Hydrolyzed collagen is even easier for your body to digest and absorb than other forms of collagen.
Collagen can improve gut health
If you are stuffing from gut issues that go beyond your surgical recovery, you’re in luck!
Collagen protein powder for bariatric patients could be your saving grace. It’s packed full of amino acids that are essential for healing and regeneration of cells in your gut lining. It has even been shown to help with leaky gut syndrome, IBS, GERD, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn's disease!
Collagen helps build up a strong digestive barrier which is essential for protecting your gut from potentially harmful microbes and toxins that can cause inflammation. It also improves the absorption of vital nutrients while promoting digestion and nutrient assimilation.
Collagen protein powder for bariatric patients is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce inflammation in the gut and soothe your intestines.
These are all extremely beneficial in a protein powder for bariatric patients, regardless of your usual gut health. You can even begin taking it before your bariatric surgery as part of your pre-bariatric surgery diet to give your gut a little extra help easing through the surgery.
Collagen doesn’t contain any lactose
If you’re looking for the best protein powder for bariatric patients, it’s important to take lactose into consideration. That’s because many bariatric patients find themselves lactose intolerant after surgery, even if they weren’t beforehand.
If you are lactose intolerant, you can’t digest the sugar (called lactose) that is found in milk. That means you really need your protein powder for bariatric patients to be lactose-free. And guess what whey protein has in it? That’s right, LACTOSE.
Whey protein is actually derived from dairy products, and is full of difficult-to-digest lactose.
If you decide to go with a whey protein supplement, and your bariatric surgery has made you lactose intolerant, you could find yourself suffering from bloating, gas, stomach cramps, and diarrhea - which would be unpleasant on the best of days, and even worse post-surgery!
Collagen, on the other hand, contains no lactose at all, which makes it an ideal choice for those who have undergone bariatric surgery.
Collagen protein powder for bariatric patients is a safe addition to any bariatric liquid diet. It’s also an excellent source of protein — in fact, collagen provides more protein than most other sources! This makes it especially useful for individuals trying to reach their post-surgery goals.
Collagen is necessary for healing
Did you know that your body uses collagen to heal itself? Collagen is actually instrumental to the main stages of wound healing, and collagen fibers are what your body uses to knit itself together after surgery.
So, if you give your body plenty of collagen post-surgery, you will be providing it with stores of the exact thing it needs to heal. That means you may even be able to heal faster after surgery, and who wouldn’t want that!?
Collagen protein powder for bariatric patients may help you speed through your recovery and hit your healing benchmarks in record time.
With so many benefits of collagen, it’s no wonder it’s the top protein powder for bariatric patients. And, now that you know, it’s time to experiment with some fun - and bariatric-safe - recipes to enjoy it in!
Tasty recipes for using your bariatric collagen protein
If you’re looking for alternatives to protein shakes after bariatric surgery, you might just need to switch up the flavors. Drinking the same thing again and again for weeks would make anyone feel queasy thinking of their next protein shake.
Now, you can avoid that with our fun bariatric surgery protein shakes using the best protein powder for bariatric patients: hydrolyzed collagen. In fact, some of these drinks even use LIQUID collagen, which has the same properties and benefits in a liquid form.
Ready to get started? Here are our favorite recipes:
1. Mixed Berry Shake
Start your day on a healthy and delicious note with this berry-flavored protein shake!
Perfectly balanced for bariatric patients, this creamy blend combines collagen protein powder, almond milk, cinnamon, and ice cubes to create a heavenly beverage that will satisfy your sweet tooth while providing you with an energy boost to power through the morning.
This protein shake is incredibly easy to make. Just use:
- 1 scoop of vanilla collagen protein powder
- ½ cup of almond milk
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- and some ice cubes
Once you’ve blended it all together, you’ll have a tasty and nutritious drink that will keep your energy levels high until lunchtime.
2. Vanilla Creamsicle Smoothie
Why not enjoy some creamy deliciousness that's full of the nutrients you need? Whip up this easy protein smoothie to get your day off to a great start. Simply combine:
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 scoop of vanilla collagen protein
- and a few ice cubes
Blend until smooth and top with grated dark chocolate (unsweetened) for an extra boost of flavor and nutrition! Not only is this delicious, it also contains some of the best bariatric vitamins and minerals to help you feel your best.
3. Matcha Green Tea Latte
Mix up your morning routine with a unique, energizing treat made with bariatric-friendly ingredients. While coffee may not be on your bariatric diet list, green tea is a great source of caffeine with natural antioxidant properties - which makes it great for your protein shakes.
Just confirm with your doctor how soon you can have green tea after surgery, and follow their guidelines closely.
To make your own matcha green tea latte, combine:
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder
- 2 scoops of vanilla collagen protein powder
Blend until the drink is frothy and has an inviting green hue. Pour the mixture into a mug and savor the delicious boost of energy.
4. Berry Refresher
Add a bit of zing to your day with this refreshing berry collagen drink. Blend together:
- ½ cup of crushed ice
- 1 pouch of berry bariatric protein shots
- and 1 cup of cold water
Pour the mixture into a tall glass and add a sprig of mint for that extra special touch.
5. Pink Punch
Want another refreshing option? Start by combining:
- 2 cups of coconut water
- 1 pouch of berry bariatric protein shots
- and a handful of frozen raspberries
Blend until you've achieved your desired consistency, and then pour it into a glass and add some mint leaves for an extra touch of flavor.
Be aware that some coconut water brands are sweetened and will not be recommended for bariatric patients. Check with your doctor to ensure your coconut water is safe to consume.
6. Blueberry Smoothie
For another fruity protein beverage, try mixing:
- ½ cup of almond milk
- 1 scoop of vanilla collagen powder
- and ½ cup of frozen blueberries
Top your smoothie off with some chia seeds for an extra antioxidant and protein boost. Serve it up and enjoy this delicious beverage that will help you power through the day!
7. Vanilla Frappe
Pour yourself an extra special smoothie treat with this delicious concoction. You can make your Vanilla Frappe by combining:
- 1 scoop of vanilla collagen powder
- 2 tablespoons of almond butter
- ¼ cup of almond milk
- and 4 ice cubes
Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
8. Berry Iced Tea
If you need a drink that doesn’t resemble a smoothie or shake, why not make iced tea? Start by steeping 4 (caffeine-free) tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and let the liquid cool down.
Once cooled, mix in one pouch of berry collagen bariatric protein shots.
Serve over ice and garnish with a few mint leaves for an extra zing. Now you have the perfect beverage to sip on and enjoy all summer long!
With all these fun recipes, it will be easy to get your protein needs and make use of the best protein powder for bariatric patients.
Tips for choosing your collagen supplement
When it comes to choosing your collagen protein powder for bariatric patients, make sure you look for a supplement from a reputable company. Your supplement shouldn’t contain any additives or sugar, and needs to be hydrolyzed for easy absorption.
You should also ensure that your collagen supplement has tryptophan added in to make it a complete protein. This will make it much easier for your body to utilize.
Bear in mind that most supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so you have to be your own advocate for your health. If you want to ensure you are getting a safe and healing supplement, you might want to purchase a medical-grade collagen supplement, which IS FDA regulated.
Use protein powder as part of a holistic health program
Collagen protein powder for bariatric patients and bariatric protein shots are extremely beneficial after bariatric surgery, but they aren’t the last word in weight loss or nutrition.
Following bariatric surgery, it’s important to make some lifestyle changes to help support your weight loss journey.
First, remember to take it easy on yourself. Your body will be a little delicate for a while, so get plenty of rest until you feel your energy levels come back.
Once you’re back on your feet, you’ll want to incorporate some kind of exercise into your life. You will also want to pay attention to portion sizes, as well as what you’re eating. Eating too much, or getting poor nutrition, can cause health issues or stretch your stomach and undo all your hard work!
With the proper lifestyle changes, and the right collagen supplement, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy new you.