You may or may not have noticed that we talk about bloating a lot here on THE/THIRTY. That's because A) we're consistently flooded with questions on the topic, B) almost everyone experiences symptoms of bloat at one point or another, and C) it's annoying and uncomfortable AF. Therefore, we want answers and solutions, and we want them now (or at least as soon as politely possible).
Thus far, we've covered our bases pretty well. We've discussed how to beat bloating like a gut expert, the best supplements to relieve bloating, how to banish bloating fast, the relationship between bloating and probiotics, and the top 10 beverages most likely to provoke a distended gut. (That's us trying to come up with any other way to refer to bloating because we're starting to feel like a broken Suzy Doll here.) However, we haven't covered the specific beverages that will prevent or help a bloated tummy—the best anti-bloating drinks, if you will. So we decided to tackle the subject with help of integrative nutritionist Sam Franceschini. While she did have some great insight into strategic anti-bloating drinks, she also reminded us that bloating is far more complicated than the beverages we choose. In other words, even though some beverages can help things along, there's no such thing as a sippable quick fix.
"Nutrition definitely plays a large roll in alleviating bloat, but it's worth pointing out that our lymphatic system also plays a large role when it comes to water retention," explains Franceschini. "Lymphatic congestion can be caused from gradual toxin accumulation, and one of the best ways to discourage stagnant lymph and bloat is to move your body. Jumping on a rebounder for even five minutes a day helps move your lymph, as do treatments like dry brushing or infrared saunas." Of course, sipping and eating the right kinds of foods and ingredients will surely help, too. Ahead, the best anti-bloating drinks your gut will love you for.
1. The Right Types of Juice
Though once a celeb- and wellness guru–led craze, juice cleanses and the majority of juices, in general, are usually discouraged by nutritionists over their whole-food counterparts, typically due to a disproportionate amount of sugar compared to fiber and other important nutrients that fruits generally lose through the juicing process. That said, juices that are heavier on the vegetables and spiked just slightly with lemon, ginger, or another low-sugar option for sweetness are deemed okay. In fact, celery juice has pretty much taken over our Instagram feeds recently as people swear by its de-bloating, immunity-boosting, inflammation-fighting benefits—just to name a few.
So it's these types of juices—heavy on vegetables and fruits known for their natural diuretic properties—that Franceschini recommends incorporating into your beverage roster. Yes, we want you to drink the juice in addition to your normal diet, not in lieu of, please.
Specifically, she tells me celery, lemons, cucumber, grapes, ginger, berries, and bell peppers are great ingredients to make your elixirs from or to keep your eye out for at the grocery store or local juice joint. Looking to DIY? According to Franceschini, you don't need a fancy juicer to make your own celery concoction at home—just blend some celery in a Vitamix or high-speed blender with some water before straining through a cheesecloth.
2. Herbal Teas
Nutritionists often tout the myriad health perks we'll gain from sipping a warm cup of tea, and according to Franceschini, the drink can double as an anti-bloating remedy—a helpful tip this time of year when our favorite cozy beverages (not on this list) like eggnog, cocoa, bubbly, and cocktails dance through our heads.
"In addition to potentially causing constipation (which ultimately leads to bloating), alcohol can also trigger the body to retain water which can make us feel puffy and bloated," Franceschini explains. Additionally, she cites carbonated beverages like seltzer and soda or anything spiked with a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners as other main bloat offenders in the drink department.
"Many people gravitate toward beverages that are sugar-free in order to avoid 'high sugar calories,' but artificial sweeteners are hard for the small intestine to digest, which leads to bloating. They're often disguised as sucralose, aspartame, etc.," she tells us. The lesson: Try swapping out your sugary drink of choice—be it alcoholic or not—with a soothing tea. Franceschini suggests dandelion root, fennel, parsley, hibiscus, juniper, and green tea, in particular.
Even though many wellness and foodie crazes come and go, broths of all varieties have been a staple for years now, most often commended for their high content of collagen (if we're talking bone broths), minerals, vitamins, omegas, and other immune-boosting and inflammation-reducing fares. And according to Franceschini, we can add an anti-bloating feather to the drink's highly decorated hat.
"Broth is another great drink to sip on if you're looking to reduce bloat," she says. "Plus, if you seep some juniper berries into your broth, it can kick the nutritional benefit up a notch." Her favorite homemade recipe involves a cozy host of nourishing ingredients like onion, sweet potatoes, garlic, leek, parsley, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and the aforementioned juniper berries. For Franceschini's full recipe, click here!
4. Upgraded Water
Photo:PhotoAlto/Alix Minde/Getty Images
All right, all right. You knew this was coming. Water is the one beverage that's kind of the ultimate cure-all for everything—hangovers, dehydration, and, yes, bloat. But sipping on plain-old H2O can seem less than tantalizing and just a little meh. So by infusing the contents of your water bottle with other yummy, good-for-your-body ingredients, you can take your beverage—and its anti-bloating perks—to the next level. For instance, as the two nutrition gurus behind lifestyle brand Tone It Up, Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, told us, sprucing up your daily sips with lemon and a bit of cayenne can help rev your digestion and in turn lessen bloat. As can other yummy additions including watermelon, cucumber, even strawberries. Or just make your water taste better and all the more enticing for you to sip with any of the powders and concentrates below.