Bloating, when excess gas builds up in the digestive tract, is an uncomfortable state that sometimes goes away when you wake up the next morning and your belly is flat again. Stomach gas is more than an inconvenience when you can’t zip your jeans; it is often painful.
If you don’t want to wait a few hours to feel like a normal human being again, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind.
Don’t drink too much water before you work out
You have to stay hydrated while you exercise, but drinking too much water will certainly make your belly big. The recommended amount of H2O is between 16 and 24 ounces an hour before you hit the gym. Sixty minutes is enough time for the body to absorb the fluid and get rid of what it doesn’t need. Drink about 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes while you’re exercising to stay hydrated and avoid bloating.
Replace protein bars with Greek yogurt
Some protein bars have too much milk-protein concentrate. People who have a problem digesting lactose should not eat them. Others have too much soy-protein which causes gas. Consider consuming protein through natural foods like beef and eggs, for example. Greek yogurt is a great alternative. Its active ingredients help suppress gas production by increasing the good bacteria in your gut.
Know the difference between Greek yogurt and the regular kind your corner store sells. The former is typically made by straining the yogurt to remove the liquid portion known as whey. “This results in a thicker yogurt with less sugar and a higher protein content,” Vitamin Shoppe Nutritionist Brian Tanzer, MS, CNS, says. “One should choose unflavored Greek yogurt and add in their own fruit such as blueberries or raspberries along with some almonds for healthy fats.”
Have some peppermint or ginger tea
Studies have found that ginger and peppermint tea really help. Peppermint has menthol, which suppresses the muscles of the digestive tract. Ginger has gingerols and shgaols, two chemicals that relax the intestinal track and ease any irritation. Do you now realize why restaurants offer tea after meals?
Drink lemon water
You have probably heard that it’s good to drink lemon water in the mornings in order to boost your metabolism. This beverage helps in more ways, just one of which is easing your gas nuisance. Lemons are a natural diuretic and a gentle laxative. Add them to some warm water, and that will help decrease the amount of salt your body is retaining. Lemons are rich in vitamins, magnesium and proteins. The fruit helps the production of hydrochloric acid, which is what the body uses to break down food. Lemon water helps the liver work better. This is another reason why the beverage is “prescribed” to people who want to detox.
Be active every day
You may hate to hear it but you can’t sit on your couch all day and expect to be in perfect shape and health. Exercise reduces bloating because, according to a Spanish study, even mild activities clear gases. You are breathing faster and your heart rate is up. This makes the intestinal muscles shrink, which helps prevent constipation and gas buildup by speeding up digestion. Now you understand why people often “walk off” the food they just ate?
Herbal medicine uses fennel seeds all the time because they help get rid of the gas in your intestinal tract. They reduce bloating by relaxing the muscle spasms in the tract. Chewing just half a teaspoon of the fresh seeds will go a long way.
Watch how much salt you consume
It’s very simple, actually. Salt makes your body retain water, which leads to bloating. On top of that, salt makes you thirsty, so you keep drinking water, making the situation a bit worse. Processed foods have a lot of sodium, so stay away from them.