Bloating is a common discomfort, and understanding its causes is the key to finding relief. Bloating is something everyone will have to deal with every now and then. It is an uncomfortable sensation of fullness, tightness, or swelling in the abdomen. We have all experienced bloating at some stage, some of us more than others. Although boating is sometimes caused by severe medical conditions, more commonly it is triggered by diet or behaviour around eating.



Common causes of bloating


Bloating can have several potential causes, and sometimes is due to a combination of factors. Common causes include:

Gas: Excess gas in the digestive system is the most common cause of bloating. This can happen from swallowing air when drinking, or it can be produced during the digestion of certain foods.

Constipation: When stool accumulates in the colon, it can lead to bloating and discomfort.



Bloating Dietary and lifestyle triggers


Volume of food at meals: If you consume too much food too quickly, you can overwhelm the digestive system which leads to bloating. It may not be the food you are eating that is causing your bloating, but the volume of food that you are eating, the frequency, timing, or how you are eating your food. Eating large volumes of food at once results in increased pressure on your stomach and GI tract to hold, breakdown and move the food you have consumed which can lead to bloating.

Meal timing

Leaving long periods between meals can make us ore inclined to overeat at our next meal, therefore eating regularly will keep our digestive system regulated and reduce our likeliness to overeat.


Fibre intake


Fibre is an essential component of a healthy digestive system. However, sometimes it can be associated with bloating or gas, especially when fibre is increased too quickly or if you are an individual who is sensitive to certain types of fibre. The gradual introduction of fibre is advised, along with sufficiently increasing your water intake to allow the fibre to function effectively. Increasing fibre without increasing your water can lead to constipation and bloating. Soluble fibre like oats, legumes and fruits tend to be gentler on the digestive system and cause less bloating.


Certain Foods


Certain foods tend to irritate the gut for some people more than others. Consuming volumes of carbonated beverages like fizzy drinks and sparkling water contain carbon dioxide which can cause gas and bloating. Herbs and spices, coffee and tea, alcohol and antibiotics, may also not suit some people. Artificial sweeteners such as sucrose and sucralose found in many sweets, chewing gums, drinks and protein powders may be common gut irritants for others. Painkillers such as asprin and ibuprofen may have negative effects on the gastro-intestine tract. Other gas producing foods like beans, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, onions and carbonated beverages are known to produce gas when digested.



Consuming large meals or certain foods before exercise or lying down can also contribute to GI discomfort.



How to identify triggers and avoid bloating


The treatment depends on the cause. a food diary is a good start to identify these triggers. By recording all the food and drink that you consume, the time, the portion sizes, along with the symptoms you experience, when you experience them, how long they last and what you are doing when you first notice them can help to identify the triggers.

Eating a balanced diet with fibre rich foods, probiotics and prebiotics to support a healthy gut may be advisable. It is also important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Try to also eat regular meals in a relaxed environment and try to avoid eating in a hurry.

Taking part in regular physical activity can help to stimulate the muscles of the GI tract, helping the movement of food and waste through the digestive system which can alleviate symptoms of bloating. It can also help to release trapped gas in the digestive system and help to reduce stress that may indirectly reduce bloating.



In Summary


In conclusion, recognising the common causes of bloating can pave the way to a more comfortable and bloat-free life. Everyone experiences bloating occasionally, especially after a big meal, a stressful day, or drinking a lot of fluids/ alcohol. However, if you are experiencing chronic bloating that will not shift with changes to your diet and lifestyle, you are best to speak with a healthcare professional.


Want To Learn More?


Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.


Over the last 7 years Authentic Personal Training has established itself as a leading health and fitness studio on the Lower North Shore. We are incredibly proud to announce that we have been voted The Best Fitness Business on The North Shore for 2019.

Join us on our Facebook page:

To book a complimentary Personal Training Session with one of Sydney’s most experienced Personal Trainers, simply fill out the form below

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Authentic Personal Training

Personal Training
Group Exercise
Nutritional Advice
Weight Loss
Muscle Tone
Core Conditioning

Studio Hours

Mon - Thurs: 5:30am - 8pm 

Fri: 5:30am - 3pm

Sat: 7am - 12pm

Sun: Closed

Contact Us

Call (02) 8040 5892


Level 1, 22 Willoughby Rd,
Crows Nest NSW 2065 Australia

View map