carbonated drinks bloating

Photo: Tetra Images/Getty

1 of 4
Believing Carbonated Drinks Will Settle Your Ballooning Stomach

Why It Doesn't Work: Bubbly beverages like seltzer and ginger ale may make you burp, which offers a little relief, but they can also push air bubbles down into the stomach, making bloating worse, explains Jacqueline Wolf, MD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard University and author of A Woman's Guide to a Healthy Stomach. Fizzy drinks with artificial sweeteners—think diet soda and bubble teas—can add to that Stay Puft Marshmallow Man feeling, as certain sugar substitutes (manitol, sorbitol, xylitol) are known to trigger gas, cramps, bloating and even diarrhea. A 2015 study showed that a diet low in these sugar substitutes and other gas-producing foods known as FODMAPS, decreased these symptoms in people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The Better Idea: Plain water will flush your system much better. Beyond that, try to incorporate more movement into your day—a study in The American Journal of Gastroenterology showed that exercising gets gas get to the exit and decreases bloating. "It moves things along because you're contracting the intestines," Wolf explains. Yoga might be particularly helpful: One study showed that daily practice lessened abdominal pain and bloating in adolescents. Working out is also a stress-buster, helping you relax and release—both your burdens and your bubbles.