7 Morning Habits That Can Lead To Bloating Throughout The Day
The annoying midday bloat often feels like it's coming about for no reason. But even the things that you do right when you wake up in the morning can lead to stomach upset later in the day. The causes of bloating are numerous, so doctors can help you find the root of the problem, even if it may not be what you'd expect.
Early in the morning, you're likely more focused on getting up and out of the door than thinking about how you'll feel later in the day. But the causes of bloating can stem from minor habitual mistakes, rather than any necessary larger health issues. "That heavy feeling in your abdomen is often due to various causes related to your digestive system," Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics, tells Bustle. "Bloating often occurs after eating and is not the same as water retention; It’s an excessive build-up of gas, solid, and sometimes liquids in your digestive system." And what you do in the morning can have a major impact on how your digestive system functions later in the day.
Learning what causes bloating in your daily life can help you get on the right track. If your bloating is persistent, you may want to speak to a doctor, but many times, these symptoms can be dealt with by changing your everyday habits.
Here are seven morning habits that can cause bloating, according to experts.
1. Eating On The Go
Sometimes, a rushed morning means a rushed breakfast. But eating too fast can be seriously detrimental when it comes to bloating.
"Eating your breakfast while you get dressed or as you’re running out the door can contribute to bloating later in the day," Backe says. "Rushing your breakfast can rob your body of its ability to track consumption and send signals to the brain." Finding even five minutes to sit down and eat can help prevent this.
2. Having A Carb-Heavy Breakfast
If you're struggling with bloating, it may be worthwhile to try eating fewer carbs in the morning for a brief period of time.
"Eating a carb-heavy breakfast can cause bloating later in the day," Backe says. "Carbohydrates are difficult for your body to digest first thing in the morning, so limit your intake of carbs and focus on protein instead." Carbs aren't the enemy, but this may be a good test if bloating is bothering you.
3. Not Drinking Enough Water
Hydration is key, even early in the morning. Having a habit of rushing to work without getting at least a cup of water in can make your midday bloating much worse.
"Not drinking enough water at the start of your day can lead to bloating later on," Backe says. "A sluggish digestive system is associated with bloating. Therefore, drinking just one cup of water in the morning when you wake up can kick start your digestive system for the day ahead." Even on the go, this added hydration may help.
4. Waking Up Too Early
Since bloating can be a symptom of PMS, it's important to create monthlong habits that minimize symptoms of PMS. Sleep is one of these important habits.
"Getting a good night's sleep is critical to good health, mentally and physically, especially two weeks before your period," Sherry Ross, M.D., OB/GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, tells Bustle. So making sure you are able to sleep a little bit more the night before, whether you go to bed earlier or wake up later, can help bloating.
5. Not Moving Around Enough
While a rushed morning can sometimes mean rolling out of bed, into the car, and straight into the office, this kind of hurried habit can make your bloating worse later on.
"Exercise is often helpful for many PMS symptoms and cramps experienced during the menstrual cycle," Dr. Ross says. "The feel-good and mood-boosting endorphins and serotonin help ease the pain and stress experienced during certain times of the month." A few minutes of walking or jogging, or some early-morning yoga, can help potentially prevent bloating.
6. Eating Bloating-Causing Foods
There are certain foods that, although nutritious, can cause bloating later in the day. And if you have particularly vegetable-heavy breakfasts, you may actually be contributing to bloating.
"Avoid foods that are classic causes of bloating including beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower," Dr. Ross says. Doing research on foods that cause bloating can help you figure out what breakfast is right for you.
7. Drinking Milk In Your Tea Or Coffee
The signs of lactose intolerance can be a lot more subtle than you may think. Because of this, you may not be directly connecting your midday bloating to your afternoon coffee.
"Lactose intolerance commonly affects women and is a frequent cause of bloating," Dr. Ross says. Trying to go a week with a dairy substitute, and seeing whether your digestive symptoms subside, may be a good test.
In all, the causes of bloating largely vary from person to person. But tweaking your morning habits can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms. Not everyone's bodies are the same, but you may not realize how much how you start your day is affecting how your body feels later.