Bloating makes your clothes feel tight and gives you a swollen, uncomfortable stomach. Slow digestion, constipation and consuming the wrong foods and drinks cause that distended look. Wine may contribute to a bloated stomach and a puffy face due to the gas-producing yeast and sugars it contains. In addition, wine irritates your digestive system by causing the stomach to produce excess acid, leading to tummy pain. Cutting out alcohol altogether is a solution to your problem but if you don’t want to give up wine completely, moderation is key. Help beat the bloat by following some simple advice.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Fruit, vegetables and whole grains
- Peppermint tea
Drink a glass of water for every glass of wine. Avoid fizzy water and carbonated drinks as they contain carbon dioxide which traps gas in your stomach, increasing bloating. Flavour your water with cucumber, lemon or lime.
Eat a healthy meal with your wine. Include fruit, vegetables and whole grains for fibre to help your digestion. Add high-potassium foods like spinach, nuts and tomatoes to remove excess water from your body. Avoid dairy if you are lactose intolerant and don’t eat a dessert containing artificial sweeteners, both of which can cause excess gas.
Don’t eat on the run. Drinking may make a takeaway eaten on the train or standing up more attractive but slow down and eat carefully. Chewing food slowly breaks down the food and aids digestion, reducing fermentation in the gut.
Skip the salted snacks. Too much salt causes cells to hold onto water, resulting in a bloated stomach. Avoid the temptation of crisps, nuts and other processed snacks while drinking wine.
Go for a short walk after drinking wine. Gentle physical activity after eating or drinking helps prevent constipation and removes air from your digestive tract. Try a 20-minute walk after your wine.
Avoid caffeine and drink peppermint tea before bed. Caffeinated tea and coffee can irritate your digestive system and enhance the effects of wine on a bloated stomach. Try ginger or fennel tea if peppermint is not your taste.
Massage your stomach. After an evening drinking wine or overindulging in food gently massage your belly in a clockwise direction while lying in bed. Fennel and juniper aromatherapy oils may also help combat bloating.
Tips and warnings
- If you don’t want to quit drinking wine include two or three wine-free days in the week to give your body chance to recover.
- Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the week in order to increase the effects of fibre in your diet and limit bloating. Aim for six to eight glasses of water a day.
- Keep within the NHS recommended drinking limits of three to four units of alcohol a day for men and two to three units a day for women. A 125ml glass of ordinary strength wine contains one and a half units. There are two units in a 175ml glass of wine.
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