We’ve got 5 more surprising truths about belly bloat—and what you can do about it—that will really blow your mind.
1. Carbonated Drinks Aren’t the Only Kind That Puff You Up
While bubbly sodas and champs do bring more air into your belly, sipping any liquid through a straw will also result in you swallowing excess air. That O2 gets trapped in your stomach, small bowel, and colon and produces bloat and gas. For your flattest stomach, skip straws and carbonated drinks.
2. You Can De-Bloat with Hot Water and Lemon
Celebs swear by piping-hot water with citrus for good reason. In the short term, experts say the lemon water acts as a mild diuretic. In the long term, staying hydrated keeps your metabolism revved and your digestion moving right on schedule, a key aspect of staying (and feeling) slim.
3. Diet Foods Cause More Bloating
If you stock up on fat-free and sugar-free foods, you might feel the need to unbutton. That’s because these foods contain sugar substitutes that are hard for your intestines to digest. They stay in the bowel and draw water in; increasing bloating. And even if your body can digest those faux sugars, they’ll just create even more gas. Ugh.
4. Sitting All Day Can Make You Swell
In general, being more active leads to increased activity in the GI tract. That means being on your bum all day can slow down your digestion, making constipation more likely. And, obviously, being backed up makes you bloat. The prescription is simple: move. Even getting up every 15 minutes or so to walk around can be enough to keep things flowing (literally).
5. Dairy Doesn’t Only Bloat People Who Are Lactose Intolerant
Any given food will impact any given person differently, but dairy products are a super common cause of bloating in most people. Though you might think your body is A-OK at digesting dairy, get this: About 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.