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Food & diet

Gassy and Bloated After Drinking Alcohol?

Intestinal gas is a normal part of the digestion process—did you know a healthy person can pass gas as often as 8-25 times per day?1 After drinking alcohol, you may experience an excessive amount of belching, abdominal bloating and flatulence that causes more discomfort and embarrassment than you signed up for.2 In some cases, frequent alcohol bloating can even lead to more severe consequences such as inflammation of the liver and intestine, leaky gut syndrome and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.2 That’s no good.

Learn how alcohol affects your digestive system with flatulence and bloat so you can take steps to potentially reduce these symptoms.

Why do Alcoholic Beverages Cause Bloating and Gas?

Your body processes alcohol differently than it does most food and drinks. When you consume alcohol, your body prioritizes eliminating alcohol from your system ahead of processing other vital nutrients, preventing these nutrients from being properly absorbed and utilized by your body.3 While your body works on removing alcohol from your system, you may experience bloating for three major reasons.2

  • Stomach Inflammation – Drinking alcohol increases the frequency in which your stomach empties. This irritates and inflames your digestive tract and stomach lining.2 Stomach lining inflammation is also called gastritis in the medical world. Gastritis can cause appetite changes, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn and of course bloating. Gastritis can also be erosive, allowing stomach acid to damage the stomach lining which can lead to ulcers development.5
  • Dehydration - You probably already know drinking alcohol causes dehydration. But you may not realize that when you’re dehydrated, your body takes water from other tissues and stores it in your abdomen. This function leads to puffiness and an overall bloated feeling.2
  • Sugar and Carbonation - Most alcoholic beverages contain excessive sugar or carbonation, a leading cause of increased gas production in your stomach. When there’s more gas than your body has room for, it results in bloating, belching and passing gas.2

In most cases, bloating improves in a few days; sometimes symptoms can last a few weeks. Your alcohol consumption frequency and extent of bloating determines how long your stomach remains irritated and inflamed.3 If your bloating is caused by gastritis, it can either be acute gastritis which lasts a few days, or chronic gastritis, which may last months or years.5

If your bloating lasts longer than a few weeks, you may face a more serious ailment like chronic gastritis and need to reduce your alcohol consumption or seek guidance from a healthcare professional to alleviate the discomfort.3

Do Some Types of Alcohol Cause more Bloat than Others?

The type of alcohol you drink can influence the extent of your stomach bloat.4 It’s possible to drink alcohol without experiencing alcohol bloat, you may just have to switch what’s in your glass.2

Have you noticed beer causes more bloat than other drinks? As mentioned before, carbonated beverages cause a lot of extra gas in your system, and beer is carbonated. On top of that, beer is made from wheat and barley, which are both difficult for your body to digest. Then of course, beer is alcohol which upsets the lining of your stomach and causes a slew of other digestive issues.

Next time you’re out for drinks, try wine, vodka or a different mixed drink to see if your bloating stays at bay. Everybody reacts to substances a little differently, so try out different options to see what your body responds to best.4 Consider keeping a food and drink journal to identify your bloating triggers.

How to Reduce Gas from Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol bloating can put a damper on your plans, but fortunately you can take different steps to reduce your chances of suffering the symptoms of alcohol bloat.2,4

  • Stay hydrated. Drink a glass of water in between every drink consumed.
  • Consume food and drinks high in electrolytes to replace lost fluids.
  • Take time off from drinking to allow your digestive system to return to normal.
  • Switch to light beers and low-alcohol spirits with fewer calories and less carbohydrates.
  • Consider cut your drinking time so you consume less.
  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep to recover after a night of drinking.
  • Take over-the-counter medication that may reduce bloating and discomfort.

There are a few different forms of medication for bloat. Antacids are designed to reduce the harm from stomach acid and H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors are made to decrease the production of stomach acid.

Gas-X products like the Gas-X Total Relief Chews can aid in the fast relief from gas and bloating after a night of drinking. A soft center wrapped in a berry-flavored outer shell, this chew gives you a tasty, dual action relief to relieve gas, bloating and heartburn. What does dual action mean? Gas X Total Relief Chews contain two main active ingredients to achieve two different outcomes. The ingredient of simethicone relieves gas and bloating while the calcium carbonate relieves heartburn and acid indigestion. Chew one or two tablets while experiencing symptoms or as directed by a doctor. Note that antacids may interact with prescription drugs.

Source Citations:

  1. Symptoms & Causes of Gas in the Digestive Tract, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,,What%20causes%20gas%3F,of%20certain%20foods%20and%20drinks. Accessed 6/22/23
  2. Alcohol Bloating: Why It Happens & Should You Be Concerned?, Zinnia Health, Accessed 6/22/23
  3. Alcohol and Bloating: How Drinking Affects the Stomach, Accessed 6/22/23
  4. 15 Foods That Can Cause Bloating, Cleveland Clinic, Accessed 6/22/23
  5. What to know about alcohol bloating, Medical News Today, Accessed 6/22/23