A bloated belly is less than ideal. It can cause serious discomfort, fatigue, and even pain. While not uncommon — we’ve probably all dealt with bloat at some point or another — bloat never *really* gets easier to deal with. Bloat has a way of wreaking havoc on your whole day! The thing is, bloating can be caused by many factors (overeating or eating too quickly, constipation, food intolerances, poor gut health, even stress). But the good news is that there are some science-backed bloating hacks that may help alleviate that full tummy if your symptoms are diet-induced.
Note: It’s important to check in with your symptoms. If you’re experiencing chronic bloat or have any concerns, it’s important to speak with your doctor or a medical professional to rule out any underlying causes or concerns.
7 Must-Know Bloat-Busting Hacks
#1 Ditch the Fizz
We know, we know. That fizzy seltzer water is oh so refreshing, especially during the summer, but if you tend to get bloated after a carbonated bevy, it may be time to ditch the fizz.
When you drink carbonated drinks, carbon dioxide gas causes an increase in gastric volume. Your stomach accommodates the increased volume by stimulating stretch receptors in the gastric wall, ultimately leading to a feeling of bloat and distension. Simply put, all that carbonation may be causing built-up gas, which is a recipe for some seriously uncomfortable bloating.
So, if you’re a big fizzy drink fan and wondering if it may be contributing to your bloating, try doing without it for a few days and see how you feel.
Speaking of drinks, if you tend to drink through a straw and have been noticing some bloating lately, ditch the straw for a bit and see what happens — drinking through that straw may be causing you to suck up extra air — the result? Bloating.
#2 Say Goodbye to Gum
Similar to drinking from a straw, chomping on gum could be a cause for bloat. It’s not the gum itself that’s the problem — unless it’s filled with artificial sweeteners like sorbitol that upset the GI — it’s the fact that you’re swallowing extra air while you chew. This air gets trapped in your stomach and small intestine, leading to a bloated belly.
#3 Consider Gut-boosting Foods
You know, the ones that are full of gut-loving probiotics like full-fat unsweetened yogurt? Well, we happen to be big fans of them, making them one of our fav bloating hacks.
Science suggests that probiotics may help ease bloating, giving us one more good reason to add some gut-boosting foods to our diet.
In addition to high-quality full-fat unsweetened yogurt, here are some other probiotic-rich foods to consider enjoying.
- Full-fat unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
And don’t forget about prebiotics! Prebiotic-rich foods (like asparagus, apples, oatmeal, and onions) feed the good bacteria in our gut. They are essential for healthy digestion and helping our gut bacteria grow.
Note: While kombucha is considered a great beverage for gut health, the carbonation may not work for those who tend to get bloated, so it may be best to try one of the other options on this list instead.
#4 Consider Avoiding Artificial Sweeteners
Let’s talk about artificial sugars and sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, and sugar alcohols (like sorbitol or xylitol). While these foods are ‘sugar-free,’ research shows they contribute to gut dysbiosis, GI issues, and even weight gain.
Here are some processed and artificial sweeteners to consider avoiding:
Instead, choose natural options, like raw honey, fruit, or pure maple syrup.
However, keep in mind that even natural sweeteners should be enjoyed in moderation, and fill your diet with plenty of whole and totally unsweetened foods first.
#5 Snack Smart Before Bed
Midnight snacks, anyone? Yes, we are all guilty of reaching for that sugary snack while we’re up late binge-watching reality TV or burning the midnight oil trying to get everything on our to-do lists done. But instead of reaching for those snacks that you know will result in an upset stomach, consider something healthier and rich in protein.
Reaching for a protein-rich snack could help keep you satiated — something light yet filling is ideal! Think: a serving of Greek or coconut yogurt with berries or a single-serve chia pudding.
RELATED: The 8 Best Healthy Late Night Snacks
#6 Sip on Gut-Soothing Herbal Teas
Banishing bloat could be as simple as boiling some water and pouring yourself a soothing cup of herbal tea! Consider something calming, like a mug of chamomile tea or peppermint, ginger, or fennel.
RELATED: 5 Gut-Boosting Cozy Drinks
#7 Take Time to Just Chill
Stress does a number on our digestion, and with poor digestive health comes an increased chance of a bloated belly. Unfortunately, stress is a big factor in our day-to-day lives — it affects the majority of our nation, and stress levels are only continuing to rise.
While acute stress is a normal (and even healthy) emotion, chronic stress is not, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Although we can’t always control the stressors in our lives, we can surely control how we respond to it!
Find time to zen out every day (yes, seriously). Daily stress management is an absolute must. It doesn’t need to be a spa day or “self-care indulgence.” It can simply be a mere 15 minutes (even 5, if that’s all we can afford) of intentional time to acknowledge our emotions and calm our mind and body.
Get a 10-15 minute FitOn HIIT workout in, have a relaxing evening skincare routine to look forward to, or do an evening FitOn stretch to just quiet your mind and get that stress response a little more balanced. Who knows, it may become one of your favorite anti-bloating hacks that you actually look forward to each day.
5 Bloat-Busting Smoothie Recipes
Ready to support digestion and tackle bloat? Here are five refreshing and easy-to-make smoothie recipes to get you started.
#1 Refreshing Carrot Ginger Smoothie
Made with anti-inflammatory ginger and cinnamon and gut-healthy banana, this delicious fiber-filled Carrot Ginger Smoothie will help soothe your belly in a healthy and delicious way!
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 banana
- 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1 cup carrot
- ½ tbsp ginger
Step #1: Add the carrots and almond milk to the blender. Blend until the carrots break down. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
Step #2: Pour into a glass and enjoy!
#2 Raspberry Chia Smoothie
Low in sugar and full of plant-based protein and fiber, this simple and nourishing Raspberry Chia Smoothie will help banish bloat and keep you regular. Enjoy it as is, or blend it up with a spoonful of Greek or Coconut yogurt for a serving of probiotics!
- 2 tsp ground flaxseed
- ½ banana
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp almond butter
Step #1: Add all the ingredients to the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
#3 Pineapple Mojito Refresher
Rich in magnesium, potassium, digestive enzymes, and anti-inflammatory properties, this Pineapple Mojito Refresher made with cooling mint will help keep you hydrated and quell belly bloat.
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1½ cups frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup coconut water
Step #1: Add the spinach and coconut water to the blender and blend until the spinach is smooth.
Step #2: Add the remaining ingredients and blend. Taste test, adjusting any ingredients as needed. If, for any reason, the smoothie is too tart, add a touch of honey. Serve and enjoy!
#4 Blueberry Banana Blast Smoothie
Rich in satiating fats and fiber, loaded with antioxidant-rich blueberries, and full of anti-inflammatory add-ins like ginger and cinnamon, this Blueberry Banana Blast Smoothie is the perfect recipe to support digestion.
- 1 banana, chopped
- 1¼ cups unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ tsp ground ginger (optional)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ½ avocado
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
Step #1: Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. If using fresh blueberries, option to add some ice to make the smoothie nice and cold.
#5 Apple Pie Smoothie
When your dessert craving strikes, this Apple Pie Smoothie will satisfy your sweet tooth without harming your digestion! Full of probiotic-rich yogurt, fiber-filled oats, and a sprinkle of bloat-soothing spices (like cinnamon and ginger), this dessert-like smoothie is a must-try!
- 2 tsp almond butter
- ½ banana
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup oats
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp ground flaxseed
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Step #1: Add the oats and flax seeds to the blender. Blend until they form a fine powder.
Step #2: Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed, adding a touch of honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness. Serve and enjoy!
Banish That Bloat & Feel Your Best
Feeling uncomfortable and bloated can put a damper on how we’re feeling. So, if you’ve checked things out with your doc to be sure that bloating isn’t caused by an underlying issue, then these seven bloating hacks may be valuable tools to help ease bloat and help you feel your best!
Oh, and don’t forget to try sipping on one of the FitOn bloat-busting smoothies above — they are pretty darn tasty and packed full of nutritional value, so you can feel really great about blending one up and enjoying it as a post-workout drink.