Drinks that cause bloating: what they are, causes, contraindications

Drinks that cause bloating: what they are, causes, contraindications


If you are prone to gas and bloating , nutrition specialists advise you to avoid several foods that can cause gas (such as beans, cruciferous vegetables, and broccoli). Not only foods, however, but also some drinks contribute to stomach discomfort, such as meteorism, peristalsis, gastric reflux, acidity and, precisely, swelling and abdominal tension accompanied by pain. 

Drinks that cause bloating: what are they?

  • Soda and fizzy drinks 
  • Soda
  • Milk
  • Protein shakes
  • Coffee
  • Bubble tea or industrial iced tea
  • Fruit juices
  • Beer


  •  Abdominal gas
  • Abdominal tension and pain
  • Meteorism
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Intestinal irregularity

Soda, Seltz, Latte and Protein Shakes

The main drink responsible for the formation of intestinal gas is soda , and all carbonated drinks. Carbon dioxide bubbles can cause swelling. Even the diet versions represent a double problem of an abdominal nature since they generally contain artificial sweeteners that are not exactly beneficial for the intestine. Artificial sweeteners are often not digested properly, which can lead to diarrhea and other digestive symptoms, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Similarly Seltzer , with or without alcohol, is responsible for bloating. In addition, seltzer version of alcoholic drinks can alter the composition and function of the gut microbiota , as bacteria play an important role in overall gut health.

However, milk , a food with well-known nutritional properties, can be problematic for some subjects, precisely at the gastrointestinal level Dairy products cause gas and bloating in people with lactose intolerance, because they can’t properly digest lactose , a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 65 percent of people are lactose intolerant after childhood, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Protein shakes , often consumed by sportsmen and those following a protein and low-carb diet, can contribute to the formation of abdominal gas due to whey, a by-product of milk commonly used to produce protein powders . So in case of lactose intolerance, it is good to choose plant-based and dairy-free protein products. Another culprit of gas, cramping and bloating could be sugar substitutes in your smoothie, often used to sweeten protein powders which can lead to diarrhea, excessive gas and bloating.

Do they help digestion or not?

Carbonated drinks are often drunk to aid digestion . It actually increases the acidification of gastric juices . Thus, digestion is accelerated but can cause gastroesophageal reflux , acidity and absorption problems , which can be painful for people suffering from gastritis or stomach ulcers .

Coffee, Bubble Tea, Fruit Juices and Beer

While coffee isn’t a gastrointestinal irritant for everyone, some people are sensitive to caffeine and as a result, may notice some digestive issues like gas or even intestinal manifestations like diarrhea. The degree of sensitivity to caffeine is linked to genetic makeup.

Similarly, bubble tea , also known as boba milk tea, with its versatile flavors and bright colors, can be very pleasant to drink but just as unhealthy for the stomach. Bubble teas usually contain tapioca-based starch with water and sugar creating a chewy texture. High fructose corn syrup can be used as a sweetener in some teas, and this can lead to diarrhea and flatulence in those with low fructose absorbency. Tapioca pearls also have plenty of starch without the fiber that regular tapioca has. Gas is produced in the large intestine when starches are broken down.

Even commercial fruit juice can cause bloating because it is usually made with a low percentage of fresh fruit. It is usually a cocktail of water, fruit concentrate, sugar and added flavourings. Much fruit juice sold in stores is flavored with sugar additives, such as sorbitol . Sugar alcohols remain mostly undigested before reaching the large intestine. At that point the bacteria will start breaking them down, causing excess gas. Sorbitol is another ingredient on the list of foods that can cause gas, and it’s found naturally in some fruits, like apples and pears, but it’s also used as a sweetener in various sugar-free foods and candies.

The correlation between abdominal bloating and beer consumption is quite common. Alcohol is an inflammatory and causes bloating and irritation in the stomach, making more stomach acid, which can lead to gas formation. Beer contemplates fermentation and carbonation processes .


The consumption of drinks such as carbonated drinks, fruit juices, soda water and protein shakes above all, in addition to causing abdominal gas and bloating, should be avoided in case of disorders and pathologies in some subjects, including:

  • Intestinal disorders
  • Abdominal tension
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Gastric reflux
  • Stomach acid
  • Meteorism
  • Digestive disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine
  • metabolic syndrome
  • Hepatic steatosis


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