We all know the feeling. You feel sluggish and uncomfortable, and your clothes feel tight around the middle.
Perhaps it’s something you ate – salty, fatty foods are major culprits in causing bloating- or perhaps your diet is lacking in the fibre department and you’re constipated.
Whatever the reason, it’s not an exaggeration to say that bloating can ruin your whole day. These beverages can help tame a swollen tummy and leave you feeling back to your usual self.
The polyphenolic compounds in green tea hold antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making green tea the ideal choice for beating the bloat.
Green tea helps reduce gas in the digestive tract, making it ideal after a spicy or fatty meal.
Researchers at The University of Hong Kong reported that ‘drinking green tea is the most simple and beneficial way to prevent gastrointestinal disorders’.1
For centuries, people in Asia and the Middle East have sipped mint tea with a meal to help digestion based on traditional use. It also comes with serious scientific backing – peppermint has been shown to relax gastrointestinal tissues2 and help relieve the symptoms of indigestion3, both of which can help prevent bloating.
While not the most exciting beverage out there, water is the original and possibly the best when it comes to our health.
Drinking plenty of water each day (6 – 8 glasses according to the NHS – that’s about 1.2 litres) allows our bodies to eliminate waste properly and keep our digestive systems running smoothly. This, in turn, minimises constipation and bloating.
Apple cider vinegar
Now, we’re not suggesting you swig this neat (that’d be bad for your teeth!) but apple cider vinegar might be the key to ease chronic bloating.
Too much bad bacteria in your gut produces excess gas, which causes a bloated stomach. Apple cider vinegar contains a probiotic, which adds a dose of good bacteria and helps balance the bacteria in your gut.
Add a tablespoon to a cup of warm water (this is the most palatable way to drink it) and sip before and after a meal.
…and what not to drink!
It might seem obvious – but if you’re regularly drinking fizzy drinks (including diet versions) – it’s a recipe for a bloated tummy.
Carbonated beverages are filled with small gas bubbles, which go straight into your stomach after you take a swig. This gives you that gassy, bloated feeling that can linger for hours after you’ve finished your drink.
Although it can help you visit the loo, coffee is also known to be a cause of bloating in some people. The acidic nature of coffee can irritate the lining of your gastrointestinal tract, leading it to produce gas.
Don’t worry too much about your morning cup of coffee, though. Just don’t overdo it – keep it to one or two cups a day if it bloats you – and try not to drink it on an empty stomach if possible.
It may be just the thing with breakfast, but apple juice can also give you a bloated tummy come mid-morning.
This is because it contains sorbitol – a non-digestible type of sugar which is known to cause gastrointestinal distress in some people. Sorbitol is also used widely in many ‘sugar-free’ products such as chewing gum and artificial sweetener, which is why these products also play havoc with some people’s digestion.
Side-effects of sorbitol can include bloating and gas – so avoid apple juice if you’re after a flat stomach.
Last updated: 6 May 2020