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by trumeta | March 6, 2024

How to Reduce Bloating After a Workout?

Young woman's side view of bloating after workout.

Most gym-goers and athletes have experienced the unpleasant feeling of bloating after a workout. Our digestive systems can often become disrupted as we push our bodies to perform more and burn calories during exercise. This disruption causes gas, bloating, and even severe discomfort.. Reducing bloating is important not only for comfort but also for performance. A bloated stomach can negatively impact your form and energy levels.

Yet many are unsure of exactly why bloating occurs or what they can do to minimize it. Read on as we explore the relationship between exercise and digestion and how you can reduce bloating after an intense workout. 

Does Exercise Cause Bloating?

Many people wonder if exercise leads to bloating[1] or inflated feelings in the abdomen. While exercising should not cause bloating, certain factors may contribute to this. Here are a few:

  • Air in Your Belly – High-impact exercises like jogging can make you swallow excess air, leading to bloating. This feeling occurs because the bouncing up and down motion shakes air into your stomach.
  • Eating Too Close to Workout Session – Exercising with food still in your belly can cause digesting food to mix with excess gas in the intestines, creating pressure and fullness.
  • Artificial Sweeteners – Some artificially sweetened sports drinks and foods may contain sugar alcohols like sorbitol, which could cause gas and digestive issues for some.
  • Drinking Too Much Water – Overhydration during a workout can dilute digestive juices and cause fluids to back up in the intestines, creating a puffy feeling.
  • Not Drinking Enough Water – Dehydration and bloating make the digestive process less efficient, slowing down the movement of food and gas through the system.
  • Incorrect Breathing – Shallow chest breathing instead of deep belly breathing during intense exercise fails to push out air and can trap it in the abdomen.

Is It Normal to Bloat After Working Out?

Young fit woman exercising in a gym lying on mat doing leg raising and twisting exercises

Many people feel heavier and bloated after working out. This feeling is actually quite common and, in many cases, normal. When you work out, your body undergoes physiological changes as a natural response and part of the recovery. Increased blood flow to major muscle groups and water retention can sometimes manifest as temporary bloating or swelling.

The intensity and type of workout you do affect how your body may respond. More strenuous activities like high-intensity interval training, weightlifting, running long distances, or competitive sports are likely to cause more significant fluctuations in blood pressure and water balance as your body works hard and heats up. This extra effort requires more hydration to replace fluids lost through sweat. As a result, slight abdominal bloating[2] for a day or two after these tougher routines is normal.

Your individual physiology and diet can also influence post-workout bloating. People with sensitive digestive systems may notice more swelling than others. Consuming salty or sugary snacks before or after exercise can draw additional water into the gut. Hormonal changes like periods can exacerbate usual bloating. As long as discomfort is mild and temporary, a bloated belly within a day or two of exercise is generally fine.

However, if abdominal distention persists for several days or is painful, it may signal an underlying issue requiring attention. Constant or severe bloating that interferes with normal activities should be discussed with your doctor. In most routine cases, temporary post-workout swelling is a natural and harmless part of the body’s recuperation process. Staying hydrated and watching your diet can help keep discomfort to a minimum. Additionally, you could take a look at a list of best teas for bloating to further reduce the chances of bloating.

How Long Does Post-Workout Bloating Last?

Fitness, exercise and tired man with a towel on park bench to relax or rest after running for cardio.

The length of time post-workout bloating lasts can vary from person to person depending on factors like diet, hydration levels, and intensity of the workout. For most people, minor stomach discomfort or puffiness typically subsides within a few hours after finishing their exercise. However, some individuals may experience lingering bloat for up to a full day post-workout.

The intensity and type of workout you do impact the bloating duration. More high-intensity workouts like HIIT or heavy strength training with weights tend to cause bloating that can last 6-8 hours on average. Lower-intensity sessions like gentle yoga or walking may clear up bloat within 2-4 hours for many. Dehydration before, during, or after a workout can also prolong the puffy feeling, so drinking plenty of water is key to reducing bloat time.

Consuming foods that cause gas or difficulty digesting close to your workout may increase bloating duration, too! High-fiber foods[3] and carbonated drinks, in particular, right after exercise, can leave you feeling fuller longer. Proper fueling and replenishing before your routine can help minimize bloating after a workout.

Wondering what else can make you bloated? Read our article called ”Does creatine make you bloated?” and find out the effect of creatine!

Tips on How to Reduce Bloating After a Workout

Tips on How to Reduce Bloating After a Workout Infographic

Nothing is more uncomfortable than feeling bloated after an intense workout. The buildup of gas and fluids in your stomach can make you feel sluggish and gross. However, there are some proven strategies you can implement to reduce post-workout bloating and get back to feeling your best. Here are four tips to try.

Increasing Postbiotics

One of the most important things you can do after your workout is consume foods and supplements that increase your body’s postbiotics. Postbiotics are metabolites — such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) — produced by beneficial bacteria in your gut. When the bacteria balance in your gut is disrupted by exercise, postbiotics can help restore that balance. Postbiotic supplements include sodium butyrate, calcium butyrate, or dried yeast fermentate. Certain fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi also help raise SCFA production in the gut.

They contain live probiotic cultures that fuel the growth of good gut bacteria. You should aim to consume some fermented foods within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. 

Another great option is Trumeta’s Metabolic Reds powder, which is rich in prebiotics and postbiotics to nourish the gut and reduce bloating over time with regular use. Post-workout is the optimal time for your gut to absorb these nourishing compounds.

If you want to learn more about probiotics and their benefits for the gut too, read our recent article: Do Probiotics Help With Bloating?

Hydrating

It’s crucial to stay hydrated both during and after a workout to avoid water from being retained in your gastrointestinal tract, where it can cause uncomfortable bloating. Aim to sip water regularly throughout your workout. Then, within 30 minutes post-exercise, drink 16-24 oz of water or a sports drink with electrolytes to replace what you lost through sweat.

Hydration is vital for your kidneys and liver to flush out waste and toxins efficiently without backlogging your digestive system. When dehydrated, your body holds on to more water in your GI tract, leading to a bloated feeling. Staying properly hydrated[4] supports smooth digestion and bloat-free recovery.

Breathing Correctly During the Workout

The way you breathe during exercise can cause bloating after a workout. When we hold our breath or take shallow breaths, it can cause us to swallow more air. This excess air gets trapped in the stomach and intestines, making us feel bloated. Make sure to take full, deep breaths throughout your workout.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth in a continuous flow. Deep breathing engages your core muscles and keeps things moving smoothly through your GI tract after exercise. It’s an easy habit to reduce post-workout discomfort.

Supplements for Gut Health

Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is paramount for reducing bloating after exercise. One supplement that can help is trumeta’s metabolic greens powder. This organic superfood powder contains a specialized probiotic blend. It includes Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis to support gut health. Along with a super mix of kale, spirulina, broccoli, and more, metabolic greens provide everything you need to alleviate constipation and promote a healthy gut lining and microflora. 

Studies confirm these ingredients can reduce gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and constipation. Aim to incorporate one scoop of metabolic greens into your post-workout routine 2-3 times per week for optimal results. The diverse array of phytonutrients and microbial support makes it an excellent choice for keeping your gut — and waistline — feeling great after exercise.

With consistency, these bloat-banishing tips can make a big difference in how you feel after putting your body through a challenging workout. Focus on hydration, breathing properly, and consuming fermented foods or supplements with postbiotics. With a little TLC for your digestive tract, you’ll set yourself up for speedy recovery rather than feeling weighed down by post-workout bloating.

Use Our Trumeta Metabolic Greens Supplement to Reduce Bloating

Are you frustrated with bloating after your workouts? Does abdominal discomfort keep you from feeling your best? Trumeta’s metabolic greens can help reduce bloating so you can recover quickly and get back to your routine.

Trumeta Greens

Trumeta Metabolic Greens is a USDA-certified organic superfood powder packed with nutrient-dense ingredients designed to support metabolism and digestion and reduce abdominal discomfort. Each daily serving contains a proprietary blend of ingredients designed to give your body the wide array of cellular nourishment it needs. Key components like spirulina, wheatgrass, barley grass, and broccoli nourish your digestive tract, while prebiotic and probiotic blends support healthy gut bacteria balance.

Trumeta also offers metabolic reds, another organic superfood powder containing a proprietary blend of antioxidant-rich berries that can aid exercise recovery and reduce post-workout discomfort. Both products are non-GMO, soy-free, and vegan. 

Trumeta Reds

Quick Review

The tips outlined here provide effective strategies for reducing uncomfortable bloating after exercise. Consumption of fermented foods rich in probiotics and supplements containing targeted postbiotic help to quickly restore balance to the gut microbiome when disrupted by intense physical activity. Meanwhile, proper hydration and breathing techniques avoid the trapping of excess air and water in the GI tract.

With consistency, these tactics will nourish your gut and support smooth digestion. Most importantly, listening to your body and giving it the nourishment and TLC it needs to recover well is crucial. By strengthening gut health both during and after workouts, you can bounce back feeling lighter and healthier, ready to take on your next training session bloat-free.

FAQs

Can Certain Types of Exercises Increase the Risk of Bloating?

Yes, some exercises are more likely to cause bloating than others. Activities that involve a lot of jumping, twisting, bending over, or bearing down, like high-impact aerobics, dance classes, or ab workouts, can increase abdominal pressure and cause digestive distress. Lifting very heavy weights while straining can also contribute to bloating. Lower-impact options like swimming, walking, or yoga are easier on the digestive system.

How Does the Timing of Meals Impact Bloating?

The times when you eat in relation to your workout can impact bloating. It’s best to wait at least two hours after a large meal before exercising to avoid discomfort. Having a light, easily digestible snack a few hours before a workout (e.g., banana, yogurt, toast) can help reduce bloating compared to working out on an empty stomach. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day, but avoid carbonated drinks since those can worsen bloating.

Does Age or Fitness Level Affect Bloating After Exercise?

In general, less fit or older people may be more prone to post-workout bloating due to weaker abdominal muscles and a sluggish digestive system. However, bloating can happen to anyone depending on the specific workout and what was recently eaten. Being in good overall condition and gradually working up to challenging exercise routines can help minimize discomfort.

How to Get Unbloated in 5 Minutes?

Sip warm lemon water to encourage fluid retention or drink peppermint or ginger tea to calm an upset stomach. Lie on your back and gently rub or apply mild pressure to your abdomen. Deep breathing techniques may also speed up gas circulation. Taking an over-the-counter anti-gas tablet could provide relief quicker than usual remedies. Patience and giving the body time to recover is often the best approach.

References

[1] Zapata, K. (2021, May 28). Bloated after your workout? Here’s what might be causing it. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/bloated-after-workout 

[2] Lacy, B. E., Cangemi, D., & Vázquez-Roque, M. I. (2021). Management of chronic abdominal distension and bloating. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 19(2), 219-231.e1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2020.03.056 

[3] With high fiber diets, more protein may mean more bloating. (2021, July 22). Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2020/with-high-fiber-diets-more-protein-may-mean-more-bloating 

[4] Rd, R. a. M. (2021, August 11). How to debloat: 8 simple steps and what to know. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-debloat 

[5] Rd, M. M. M. (2023, April 4). 8 Herbal teas to help reduce bloating. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tea-for-bloating 


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