Vitamins and supplements will help you get the necessary nutrition during your recovery stage and over the long term too. Since the size of your stomach has shrunken significantly after surgery, you may have difficulties obtaining enough nutrients from food alone. This is why it is so important to complement your diet with vitamins and supplements.

Gastric sleeve patients should begin taking vitamins and supplements during Stage 2 of the Post-Op Diet, or about 1 week after surgery. It is recommended that patients always take them with food or liquids. The required vitamins and supplements are the following:

  • Vitamin B-Complex
    • Take 1 B-Complex chewable vitamin per day with breakfast.
    • Recommended brand: Vitafusion B Complex Gummy Vitamins.
    • If you choose a different brand just make sure it contains at least 100% of your daily B-12 requirements.
  • Calcium Citrate
    • There are 2 different types of Calcium: Calcium Citrate and Calcium Carbonate. Make sure to take Calcium Citrate because it is absorbed better by the body.
    • Recommended brands: Rainbow Light Calcium Citrate Chocolate Chewable, Solaray Calcium Citrate Chewable.
    • Whichever brand you choose, make sure to get a total daily dose equal to 1,000 mg per day. Take half during breakfast or lunch and the other half during dinner.
  • Iron
    • Take during breakfast. Make sure to not take it at the same time as calcium.
    • The required dosage is 18 mg to 25 mg.
    • Recommended brands: NutriPure Melts in Mouth Chewable Iron, BariMelts Iron + Vitamin C.
    • It is recommended to take your iron supplements with a dose of Vitamin C for better absorption. The recommended brands already include some Vitamin C.
  • Gallbladder pills (optional but highly recommended)
    • When your body loses weight at a drastic pace, your gallbladder may be at risk of developing stones. The purpose of taking these pills is to help prevent any formation of these stones.
    • Take 1 serving per day for the first 6 months. After that, you may discontinue it.
    • Recommended brand: Stone Breaker Chanca Piedra (pulverize and dilute in water).
  • Protein Supplements
    • We suggest buying protein powder rather than pre-made protein shakes. Making you own protein shakes with the powder will allow you to control the ingredients going into the shake for a better quality drink. It is recommended to prepare your protein drink with unsweetened plant-based milk such as soy, almond, or low fat coconut.
    • It is somewhat common for patients to develop dairy intolerances after surgery. Whey protein is derived from dairy, so if you are having trouble consuming these types of protein supplements, we highly suggest switching to plant-based sources. You can also start directly with plant-based sources if desired.
    • Recommended brands: Gold Standard 100% Whey (powder), Isopure (powder), Gold Standard 100% Plant-Based (powder), Vega Clean Protein (plant-based powder), Premier Protein (pre-made drink), and Protein2O (pre-made drink).
    • If you prefer to buy another brand of protein powder just make sure it meets the following nutrition requirements per serving.
      • Calories: 110 to 130
      • Protein: 20 to 25 grams
      • Fat: No more than 7 grams
      • Carbs: No more than 5 grams
    • Note: As your recovery after surgery progresses, the goal should be to gradually increase your protein intake from food and decrease your reliance on protein drinks. Still protein drinks can play an important role in your long-term diet if you are not being able to reach your needs from food alone.
  • Suggested supplements schedule:
    • Morning: Multivitamin, B-Complex, Iron, Gallbladder
    • Lunch: Calcium citrate (half)
    • Dinner: Multivitamin, Calcium citrate (remaining half)
  • Fiber supplements: (3+ months after surgery, do not take before this time)
    • Add one serving if you are not consuming at least 15 grams of fiber per day 3 months after your surgery (very likely to be the case).
    • Add one serving if you are not consuming at least 20 grams of fiber per day 6 months after surgery. This is also the recommended amount for the long-term.
    • Take each serving together with a snack. Serving size should contain around 5 grams of fiber.
    • Recommended brand: FiberAdvance Gummies.

Please consult with your doctor, surgeon, or nutritionist before beginning to take any supplements to see if they are right for you.