This is why you bloat more in summer

Stomach pain, stress and woman on a sofa with pms, gas or bloating, constipation or menstrual nausea at home. Gut health, anxiety and female in living room with tummy ache, anxiety or endometriosis bloating
Bloating can be more common in summer due to diet changes. (Getty Images)

If you’ve ever noticed you’ve felt more bloated in summer or during a warm weathered holiday, you’re not alone.

In fact, searches for ‘why do I always bloat on holiday’ have increased by 200% in the past month alone.

“Bloating during the summer heat is common when the temperatures soar,” Kyle Crowley, a nutrition expert at Protein Works, explains.

“In hotter temperatures, we often change our diet, and many turn to fizzy drinks for refreshment which can turn your stomach into a bloat factory. Our bodies hold onto water to prevent dehydration, making us feel puffier than usual. And with the addition of those holiday treats and cocktails, it’s difficult for our digestive systems to stay on track.”

So, how do we avoid bloating in the first place? Crowley reveals the foods to eat – and avoid – below.

Foods such as watermelon, cucumber, and celery are filled with water which can keep you hydrated and bloat-free in the summer months.

“Consuming foods rich in water content can help maintain hydration levels and fulfil your daily fluid requirements,” Crowley explains. “This can prevent water retention and relieve bloating associated with dehydration.”

Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut which can help to replenish your gut health and, in turn, aid with bloating.

“Yoghurt and kefir are a spa day for your gut, packed full of probiotic benefits. These fermented goodies help to balance your gut flora and keep bloating at bay,” Crowley says. “Probiotics are known for their potential to restore healthy gut bacteria, with a high consensus rate for reducing bloating.”

“Ginger and peppermint are the dynamic duo for digestion,” Crowley says. “Each of these natural ingredients is beneficial on its own, but together they create a powerful debloating and detoxifying combination.

“Peppermint tea is a popular herbal remedy for various digestive issues, while ginger can reduce fermentation, constipation, and other causes of bloating and intestinal gas.”

Mint tea in clear glass cups on white wooden table on white background.
Peppermint tea can aid digestion and prevent bloating. (Getty Images)

While you may be tempted to reach for a fizzy drink or a tipple when the weather’s warm, these can actually contribute to bloating.

“Bubbly beverages blend gas with liquid to create that refreshing fizz we love. But beware: all that gas can leave you bloated,” Crowley says.

“Plus, adding alcohol to the fizzy mix creates a double whammy for bloating. Alcohol is inflammatory, irritating your gut and adding to that uncomfortable feeling.”

"Ultra-processed foods are often packed full of salt, a mineral that when consumed in excess can make the body retain water, making you feel more bloated,” Crowley explains.

“Sugary foods and snacks such as sweets and chocolate can break down in your body to further cause gas.”

While dairy products can provide calcium and protein, both of which are essential parts of our diet, it can also be difficult to digest for some people.

“About 68% of people worldwide are lactose intolerant, meaning they can't digest lactose - the sugar in milk, leading to bloating,” Crowley says.

“Lactose-intolerant individuals may still tolerate cream, butter, hard cheeses, or fermented dairy like yoghurt. Opt for lactose-free alternatives if dairy gives you trouble.”