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You’ve probably heard the classic Pepto Bismol jingle: “Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!“Interestingly, the same symptoms that this Barbie Pink Drinking Syrup is designed to help soothe and treat can also be triggered by other drinks which, depending on the situation and circumstances, can potentially irritate your stomach and disrupt the proper functioning of your digestive tract But which drinks are among the worst for your digestion?
While not all drinks are guilty of upsetting your digestion, some drinks may be more culprits than others. Drinks made with ingredients that can affect acid production in your stomach, dehydrate you, gradually thin the lining of your stomach and intestines over time, or even interfere with your hormones in certain ways, can contribute to indigestion. Additionally, certain conditions can make your digestive tract more sensitive to the effects of certain beverages, leaving you more susceptible to nausea, heartburn, indigestion, abdominal pain, or other symptoms that may cause you to more time in the bathroom than you’d like to admit.
For example, “if you have a gastrointestinal condition, you may want to be more careful with certain drinks and check your labels for ingredients”, Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCESdietician, nutrition expert and diabetes educator explains to Eat this, not that!
To find out which drinks might be most likely to upset your digestion, we spoke with a few dietitians to get their expert opinions on how these drinks can impact your body. While some of these can be responsibly incorporated into a balanced diet, knowing what kinds of drinks might tempt you to grab a bottle of Pepto will better prepare you to drink those drinks under more gut-friendly circumstances.
Although coffee offers some health benefits and is part of a quality, well-balanced diet, under the right circumstances, the caffeine content of this drink can also upset your digestion.
In fact, consuming caffeine can sometimes slow down your body’s digestive process due to its ability to also release stress hormones, like cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, which can increase your heart rate while increasing your energy level. When this happens, the blood supply that would typically go to your intestines decreases, which can impact the rate at which your body normally digests the items you consume.
Studies also suggest that coffee can sometimes overstimulate stomach acid production, causing acid reflux and heartburn. This is especially true if you drink coffee on an empty stomach.
Thomason also points out that “coffee, of course, has a laxative effect on some people. In particular, people with IBS who are prone to diarrhea may have sensitivity to coffee,” says Thomason.
If you’ve ever felt the effects of being over-served or having a brutal hangover, you probably know how upset alcoholic beverages can upset your digestion and have experienced the resulting discomfort. But why does this happen?
“Alcohol has a unique impact on digestion because it is prioritized by the liver to be detoxified,” says Thomason. “So if you’re eating and drinking at the same time, digestion is actually put on hold until the alcohol is completely detoxified from the body.”
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FANDaward-winning nutrition expert and the wall street journal bestselling author of The Family Immunity Cookbookadds that research shows that “regular consumption of large amounts of alcohol can lead to inflammation of the intestines”.
The interesting thing about carbonated drinks like soda or soda is that while many turn to these fizzy drinks to help soothe stomach pains or nausea, they can also contribute to digestive upset.
“Fizzy drinks can cause some people to experience bloating or heartburn,” says Thomason.
“Some people find that sparkling water helps their digestion and reduces indigestion. However, in [other] folks, it can cause gas or bloating,” adds Amidor. “The use of straws for drink sparkling water [or] drinks increase gas and bloating.”
If you like fizzy drinks, in addition to drinking them without a straw, Thomason recommends you opt for alternatives to soda, such as OLIPOP. This soda alternative, in particular, not only has fewer added sugars than your standard soda, but it’s also packed with plant-based fiber and prebiotics, both of which may benefit digestive health. As Thomason notes, these sodas can provide “a whopping 9 grams of prebiotic fiber per can, or 32% of the daily value for fiber.”
“Energy drinks can be high in sugar, which can negatively affect the gut microbiota,” explains Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, author of first time mom’s pregnancy cookbook, the recipe book for a healthy pregnancy with 7 ingredients, And Fuel male fertility. “They also provide very little in the nutrition department, and zero fiber.”
Amidor adds that while case studies aren’t always the strongest representation of the evidence, many have linked energy drink consumption to chronic gastritis, a condition in which the stomach lining has suffered. long term damage.
“There is several case studies which have linked the overconsumption of energy drinks to chronic gastritis,” says Amidor. “However, further studies are needed.
“Energy drinks can have a similar effect to coffee due to the caffeine. However, energy drinks are also often sweetened with artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols,” says Thomason. “Sugar alcohols like maltitol or xylitol can’t be digested by bacteria in your gut and can cause gas and bloating as they pass through our digestive system.”
“Typically, sugar-free drinks contain some form of artificial sweetener or sugar alcohol, so it’s important to check labels,” adds Thomason.
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