Recommended Drinks That Can Aid Digestion

Feeling bloated after a delicious meal full of your favorite foods, or having difficulty using the restroom because you’ve been constipated for a long time?

Tummy troubles like these can be some of the most inconvenient issues to deal with when going about your daily life, and your diet can have a direct impact on your digestive health. In fact, there are specific drinks that can help with digestion when things go wrong.

According to Cleveland Clinic, Bloating is caused by an excess of gas, which usually results from a digestive problem. It could be a food intolerance or allergy, problems with your menstrual cycle, or simply eating too quickly. Other common digestive problems include diarrhea, nausea, and cramping.

When these digestive issues arise, it’s natural to want to find relief as soon as possible, which is where certain drinks can help. But first, go for a short walk. Walking after eating appears to hasten gastric emptying, whereas alcoholic digestifs or espresso do not.

So, try one of these 8 dietitian-recommended drinks to improve your digestion the next time you’re feeling bloatedness, cramps, constipation, or any other digestive tract issues.

1. Water

8 Drinks That Can Aid Digestion

“The best drink for digestion, hands down, is good old water,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Jamie Nadeau, RDN, owner of The Balanced Nutritionist. “Staying hydrated and drinking enough water helps to break down food and move it through your digestive system efficiently so that you can use the bathroom regularly. When you’re constipated or having irregular bowel movements, you’re way more likely to be bloated as well.” To make water tastier, add a squeeze of lemon or flavoring drops, Nadeau suggests.

2. Kombucha

Many of the nutrition experts we spoke with recommended kombucha, a fermented probiotic beverage intended to restore gut health. Look for low-sugar commercial kombucha, suggests Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of the Candida Diet. Many brands of kombucha contain added sugars, which “can be damaging to the gut, especially if consumed in large amounts,” Richards says. Kombucha is best enjoyed around midday when there is food in the gut to digest, she says.

3. 100% coconut water

8 Drinks That Can Aid Digestion

If you’re suffering from diarrhea, you’re losing electrolytes. To replace them, drink 100% pure coconut water. It’s a better electrolyte replacement than those sugary, artificially-colored sports drinks, says weight-management specialist and registered dietitian nutritionist Rachelle Caves, RDN, CPT. “It’s also one of the best easy-to-digest beverages that helps fight bloating, because it’s packed with natural minerals like water retention-fighting potassium and magnesium,” she says.

4. Turmeric Beverages

Drinks with turmeric contain curcumin, which stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, and may help improve digestion, says registered dietitian Paulina Lee, MS, RD, LD, founder of Savvy Stummy. “Turmeric’s potent anti-inflammatory abilities can combat inflammation in the gut lining and throughout the body,” she says. Lee recommends adding turmeric to morning smoothies or trying her recipe for a Golden Turmeric Latte.

5. Fennel tea

drinking tea

Fennel, which resembles anise in flavor, has been used as medicinal tea for centuries. In fact, studies have shown that the aromatic plant is useful for easing digestive and gastrointestinal disorders. If you’d like to try making fennel tea, crush a teaspoon of fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle, and toss into a saucepan of water that you bring to a boil. Pour the tea through a strainer into a cup and sweeten with honey. “Fennel may help relieve constipation and other digestive problems that cause gas, as well as keep things moving properly in the digestive system,” says registered dietitian Katherine Gomez, RD, a medical reviewer at Psyche Mag.

6. Prune juice

“For managing constipation, I advise my patients to take prune juice because it has a mild laxative effect, mainly due to its high sorbitol content,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Bianca Garcia, RDN, a nutrition specialist for Health Canal. “Sorbitol is a natural sugar alcohol that has a laxative effect and contains insoluble fiber that helps to get things going in your digestive tract.” Garcia says other juices, such as those made from celery, apple, peaches, pears, or a combination of fruits, should work well for most digestive problems since they increase hydration, which can also improve bowel movements.

7. Ginger tea

woman holding tea with lemon and ginger

“Fresh ginger contains an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound called gingerol, which can improve delayed digestive motility and expedite the absorption process in the small intestine,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Rhyan Geiger, RDN, owner of Phoenix Vegan Dietitian. “Homemade ginger tea is a great sugar-free alternative to ginger ale or bottled beverages that may contain added sugars.”

To make ginger tea, add one teaspoon of freshly peeled ginger zest into hot water for 10 minutes. “I always reach for ginger tea whenever I indulge too much and feel bloated,” says Garcia. “Its soothing concentrated flavor, spiciness, and invigorating aroma give me a comforting relief as well. Plus, ginger tea contains compounds that help relax your digestive muscles, allowing food, liquids, or gas to pass through more quickly.” Peppermint tea provides similar benefits, adds Lee. “It can soothe an upset stomach or help with digestion by relaxing the stomach muscles and allowing improved flow of bile acids to digest fats,” she says.

8. Aloe vera juice

Another stomach-soothing beverage is aloe vera juice, which you can buy in the store or make fresh from the aloe vera plant. “Aloe vera contains a large number of antioxidants and can help speed up intestinal motility, which may improve constipation,” says Lee. “It’s also soothing to the gut and could decrease gut inflammation, thereby potentially supporting symptoms of bloating.”

RELATED: 7 Healthy Foods That May Be Toxic or Even Deadly

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