Bloating — the sometimes uncomfortable and unavoidable side effect of eating and drinking. It’s generally pretty easy to determine the foods we eat that lead to bloating as it’s a bodily reaction and feeling we, unfortunately, feel almost immediately after eating, but what about the things we’re drinking that may contribute to bloating, too?
If you want a flat stomach, these are things you should never drink or should consider drinking in moderation.
Depending on the type of coffee you drink, or the way you take your coffee, you might end up bloated. Even the healthiest variation of coffee doesn’t necessarily guarantee a flat stomach, at least shortly after drinking it. Black coffee is acidic and can irritate the stomach, causing immediate swelling, according to Women’s Health.
Too, Dr. Roger Gebhard, M.D., gastroenterologist, states that coffee of any kind “can overexcite the digestive tract and may stimulate spasms in the bowel that cause bloating.” Luckily, bloating is temporary.
Carbonation comes from gas blended with water, so when we drink carbonated drinks, gas gets caught in the stomach. Just like carbonation, sugar too, triggers gas production according to LiveStrong.
Diet sodas are no better than regular soda in terms of bloating. They contain artificial sugars, which could arguably lead to more bloat than regular soda. The reason is that sugar alcohols aren’t completely absorbed in the digestive system, which causes fermentation in the intestines, leading to the production of gas, according to Breaking Muscle.
Carbonated bubbles are air pockets; when we drink them the air builds up in the stomach and leads to abdominal distension, Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.N., and founder of the New York-based BZ Nutrition, told Self.
Flavored seltzer and sparkling waters are even worse due to the sugar alcohols they contain. The body has a difficult time breaking these artificial sweeteners down.
To maintain a flat stomach, Well+Good suggests switching out the seltzer water for mineral water.
Give up your beer habit, or at least only drink it rarely. If you’re a beer drinker, you might notice a kind of thick, heavy feeling after you drink it. Beer, like carbonated beverages, releases carbon dioxide gas into the body, which leads to increased bloating, making you feel heavier, and resulting in that belly bloat, according to Healthline.
If you want a flat stomach, beer isn’t your best choice of alcohol, but there is some research that suggests that how you pour your beer can change how bloated it makes you.
For some people, drinking even just a glass or two of wine can lead to major bloating. Despite being low in calories, wine contains yeast, which results in that bloat. Too, the fact that wine contains so much sugar means that it feeds the yeast in your stomach, making the feelings of bloat even worse, according to Livestrong.
If you want a flat stomach, but still want a glass of wine, one helpful tip is to swap white wine for red, as it has less sugar, according to HuffPost.
Lactose intolerance, or a protein in dairy products, A1 beta casein, may be the cause of your bloating and stomach discomfort after drinking milk.
A study by Curtin University found that “Those who consumed 100 percent A1 protein-containing milk suffered inflammation, bloating and discomfort, and a tendency towards constipation,” yet those who drank 100 percent A2 protein-containing milk had no symptoms.
If you want a flat stomach, but don’t want to give up milk in your diet, enjoy it in moderation, or consider a cow’s milk alternative like almond or cashew milk.
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