Beware of booze
Many people associate stomach bloating with beer (hence the term “beer belly”), but any alcoholic beverage can actually make your stomach puff up, says gastroenterologist Dr Robynne Chutkan, author of The Bloat Cure: 101 Natural Solutions for Real and Lasting Relief. Alcohol wipes out the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system that normally keep bloat in check. It can also lead to gastritis and liver damage, both of which cause bloat, and it’s high in kilojoules. You don’t need to abstain completely, though; just try to consume no more than a drink a day.
Cut down on caffeine
Since caffeine is a well-known diuretic, it makes sense that some people might expect it to move water and salt out of your body, and thus reduce bloating. But caffeine can cause dehydration, which makes your digestive system sluggish and can lead to blockages. So sorry, coffee fans, but when it comes to reducing bloating, the less caffeine the better.
Skip the sports drinks
Sports drinks are marketed as an alternative to soft drink, but unless you’re a pro athlete or exercising like one, give them a pass. These beverages are full of artificial sweeteners, extra sodium and other salts, all of which can cause bloating. Some of them also have a surprising amount of kilojoules. After you work out, replenish your fluids with plain old water or unsweetened, unflavoured coconut water.