Beating bloat.

The other day, in a conversation with a fellow workout friend, they mentioned that every once in awhile they experience bloat and it makes it so that the gym and working out feels more like the enemy than anything. I gave them a few easy tips on how to help the bloating issue they were having so that they wouldn’t miss a step with their day-to-day routine when it happened.

The easiest way to combat bloat is to nip it in the bud before it even starts. Women, more than men, experience bloat. And it’s usually around a certain time of the month. Although it is often associated with the menstrual cycle, it’s actually most often a part of pre-menstrual cycle symptoms. During that part of the cycle, cutting out access salts (which you should keep an eye on your intake anyway) and drinking about two to three liters of water a day will help put the brakes on bloating and bloat symptoms. Finding_Nemo_bloat

When people eat, especially in the US, more often than not, it’s on the run or under a time crunch. The result? Inhaled meals. The result? Bloat. The solution to that is (and trust me, as someone constantly on the go, I know this is hard) eating slower. When you eat quickly and don’t chew your food well actually, no joking, causes air swallowing and that leads to bloat. Don’t eat while walking or standing, sit down and enjoy the meal you’re eating. Research on bloat suggests that each meal should last at least 30-minutes. And be sure to chew your food better. A side benefit to eating slower is, your meal (or snack) will become more satisfying, and if you eat slower, you may also end up eating less.

Watch the carbonated drinks. The fizz from the drinks, regardless if it’s diet, seltzer waters, etc… can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach. If you’re looking for flavored water, try water flavored with lemon, lime or even cucumber. If you can do this naturally, it’s better than buying pre-made, as the bottled flavored waters sometimes contain high amounts of sodium in them.

Be sure to drink eight glasses of liquid a day. Some people cut back on their water consumption when they’re feeling bloated, thinking that it will make it worse, when in fact, the opposite is true. Fluids will help flush the waste from your system and reduce your water retention.

Back on the salt topic: Keep an eye on your sodium intake. Processed foods are the biggest “baddies” in this area. Most of the times, they’re high in sodium and low in fiber. Check your labels. Try to keep your serving size of sodium 500mg or lower, and consume in the neighborhood of 1,500-2,500mg of sodium per day. The great thing about this day and age is that you can find sodium free, low sodium or very low sodium options in almost everything on the shelf.

On that note, be sure to increase your potassium intake. The more salt you consume, the more potassium-rich foods you should eat. Potassium helps to counter sodium’s role in your body by helping the kidneys get rid off excess sodium and help reduce stomach bloating. Maintaining the overall balance between potassium and sodium is key to maintaining water balance.

Grab some yogurt. Lactose sensitivities are on the rise, and it’s been proven that opting for yogurt instead of milk in that yummy smoothie is better for bloat sufferers. Almost all yogurt has live active cultures in it (this is where checking your labels comes in again). The milk sugar is broken down in yogurt, whereas in milk, it’s not. Milk sugars can lead to bloating and gas. Lactobacillus and acidophilus found in yogurt can improve the symptoms of bloating.

And lastly, keep moving. Bloat can make it so that you don’t want to move from the sofa let alone go for that run or head into the gym. Moving your body, especially after you’ve eaten (just a brisk walk will work!) can boost the speed of digestion and help food move more quickly through your GI tract. Exercise has also been proven to help expel excess gas from your intestinal tract, helping you conquer bloat. So when you’re feeling like the sofa or that recliner is where you’re better off until your symptoms subside, get up and do something. You’ll feel a heck of a lot better, a heck of a lot faster.

7. Keep moving 

It’s tempting to skip a workout when you’ve dedicated the day to bumming around on the beach, but don’t glue yourself to a lounge chair the second you’ve taken your last bite of lunch. “Going for a brisk walk after a meal can increase the speed of digestion and help food move quickly through your GI tract,” says Palinski-Wade. Exercise can also work to expel excess gas from your intestinal tract, helping your body beat bloat. Beach volleyball, anyone?

– See more at: http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/7-easy-ways-to-beat-bloat#sthash.dA5jmibO.dpuf

7. Keep moving 

It’s tempting to skip a workout when you’ve dedicated the day to bumming around on the beach, but don’t glue yourself to a lounge chair the second you’ve taken your last bite of lunch. “Going for a brisk walk after a meal can increase the speed of digestion and help food move quickly through your GI tract,” says Palinski-Wade. Exercise can also work to expel excess gas from your intestinal tract, helping your body beat bloat. Beach volleyball, anyone?

– See more at: http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/7-easy-ways-to-beat-bloat#sthash.dA5jmibO.dpuf

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