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Does Drinking Water Help With Bloating? Here’s the Answer
Gut Health

Does Drinking Water Help With Bloating? Here’s the Answer

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 14, 2022
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4 min

Water is often a fix for minor ailments because it has so many health benefits. Upping your water intake can provide relief for headaches, boost energy levels, and clear your skin, but can it ease a bloated stomach? In this article, you can discover if drinking water will help beat that belly bloat.

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Water is like a medicinal potion. All living things need water to survive. It has multiple bodily functions, like regulating temperature, flushing waste, cushioning the joints, and protecting the organs and tissues. As well as the critical role water plays in humans, it also provides additional health benefits.

Many people intuitively reach for a glass of water when they’re feeling unwell in any way. You might sip water when you feel nauseous, hungry, tired, or if you have a headache. When you have a bloated stomach, you might wonder whether drinking water will help you debloat.

Keep reading to learn if drinking water can reduce bloating.

Does Drinking Water Help With Bloating?

Yes, drinking water can help reduce bloating. Water retention occurs when fluids build up in the body, which can lead to bloating and puffiness in the abdominal area. Increasing your water intake can help flush away the excess fluids and relieve your abdominal discomfort.

If you’re feeling bloated because of constipation, drinking more water will increase the water content in the gastrointestinal tract. This allows your stool to absorb more water, making it softer and stimulating more comfortable bowel movements.

The uncomfortable feeling of bloating can make you not want to consume anything at all, but drinking enough water is vital for the health of your entire digestive system. The general recommendation for daily water intake is 15 cups for men and 12 cups for women.

What Causes Bloating?

Several factors can cause bloating. The most common trigger is excess gas in the gastrointestinal tract. Your diet is often responsible for gas. What you eat plays a key role in digestive function, as your body finds certain foods more difficult to break down and digest.

Drinking carbonated beverages and eating foods like beans, lentils, cruciferous vegetables, and too many fermented foods can cause excess gas production. Too much protein could also be the cause of a bloated belly. Additionally, eating your meals too quickly and swallowing an excessive amount of air when you eat is another primary cause.

In women, premenstrual syndrome is another trigger for temporary bloating. Bloating can also indicate an underlying health condition that affects digestion, such as Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It could also result from common food allergens or lactose intolerance.

Furthermore, the body attempts to hold onto excess water when you’re dehydrated. This can lead to fluid retention and an uncomfortable bloated stomach. Drinking more water will alleviate dehydration, prevent bloating, and rebalance your electrolyte and fluid levels.

How to Get Rid of Bloating From Dehydration

If dehydration is the culprit of your bloated stomach, there are a few ways to ensure you get adequate hydration throughout the day. As well as drinking plenty of water daily, you can combat dehydration with some dietary changes that will boost your overall digestive health.

Here are 4 ways you can reduce bloating from dehydration.

#1 Consume less sodium

Ingesting too much sodium can make your body retain water. The excess water in the body makes you bloat, making water retention a leading cause of bloating. Overconsuming sodium also causes dehydration, throwing your body and kidneys out of whack.

Lowering your overall sodium intake can reduce bloating. It is considered an important intervention for reducing the symptoms.

#2 Reduce sugar intake

Often, simple dietary changes can prevent abdominal bloating. Sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods can cause gas, especially in those who have difficulty digesting certain sugars. Lactose, fructose, and sorbitol are sugars and artificial sweeteners that can trigger gas.

You should limit or avoid sugary drinks in your diet. Carbonated beverages, in particular, promote gassiness and bloating because they deliver carbon dioxide into the gastrointestinal tract. Sugary chewing gum is another food item to avoid because it makes you swallow air.

Try replacing your usual sugary snacks with foods that have a high water content, such as watermelon, to alleviate dehydration-based bloating.

#3 Eat more fiber-rich foods

Fiber-rich foods are incredibly important for digestive function. A high-fiber diet can effectively aid digestion by cleaning up the build-up of waste in the intestines and adding water and bulk to stool, making it easier to go to the bathroom.

Constipation is a driver of bloating, so keeping yourself regular with fiber in the diet will mitigate both. There are plenty of foods to include in your diet. Some of the best foods to prevent constipation include oatmeal, high-fiber cereal, broccoli, berries, nuts, and seeds.

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#4 Increase your intake of probiotics

Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria. Research suggests they can assist with the treatment of dehydration and diarrhea.

Furthermore, probiotics are great for bloating because they nourish gut bacteria and restore balance. In addition, they promote regularity and provide constipation relief.

However, if you decide to increase your intake of probiotic supplements, too many could have the opposite effect, causing constipation and bloating.

Can You Get Bloated From Drinking Too Much Water?

If you drink water excessively, the water can build up in your body and give rise to bloating. It’s normal for your stomach to feel full when you consume a lot of food. Similarly, drinking copious amounts of water fills up your stomach, causing an uncomfortable feeling of fullness.

In addition, gulping down large amounts of water in a short space of time can cause you to swallow an influx of air. If the air isn’t released via burping, it enters the digestive system, where it causes gas, belly bloat, and abdominal pain. The disorder is known as aerophagia.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Bloating is a common condition that makes your stomach feel uncomfortably full and tight. A bloated stomach can adversely affect your well-being, affecting your daily activities if the problem occurs frequently. Identifying the trigger can help you find the best treatment.

Drinking water is one remedy that might eliminate bloating. Water is essential for digestion and your general health. It carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, promotes healthy blood pressure, increases energy levels, cushions the joints, flushes toxins, and improves skin complexion.

Water can also aid your weight loss journey. It suppresses appetite, fills you up before meals to prevent overeating, and is the best drink option for intermittent fasting. You could even try sipping warm water with lemon to soothe your bloated stomach without breaking your fast.

You should talk to your doctor for expert advice if your bloating is a recurring nuisance. It could be that there is an underlying health issue to blame.

Conclusion

Drinking water can help to treat bloating. Moreover, drinking enough water in the first place can prevent bloating by keeping your digestive processes healthy and happy. An adequate amount keeps you regular, prevents constipation, and keeps your electrolytes in balance.

Drink too much, however, and you can wind up with the opposite effects. Overdrinking water can flush essential electrolytes from your system and contribute to the dreaded belly bloat. Stick to the daily recommendations, and you can return to feeling like your usual self.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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