Doctor shares reason you feel bloated in hot weather - but there's a 'magic' drink to help

Woman feeling bloated
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

While basking in the sun next to a pool with a cocktail in hand may seem like the ideal way to enjoy sizzling heatwaves, the uncomfortable and grim reality of enduring it outside of holiday mode doesn't quite hold the same appeal.

The UK has finally got some sunny weather, and while the majority of residents take advantage of the clear sky by spending extra time in their gardens or relaxing in local parks, the adverse effects include sleepless nights due to the high temperature and incessant sweating.

However, one aspect that is often overlooked when it comes to heat is its association with bloating. Exposure to intense heat can provoke certain body parts to swell. You might have noticed, for instance, your hands and fingers puffing up slightly.

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Intriguingly, this effect can also extend to our stomachs, leading to a rather irksome discomfort. Should you find yourself suffering from bloating during hot weather, do not fret as it's deemed normal, not harmful, and there are measures you can take for relief - including consuming the right type of beverages, reports the Mirror.

It seems logical to attribute bloating to dehydration-induced excessive consumption of cold drinks, but Nutritionist Dr Pamela Mason from the Tea Advisory Panel elaborates on a more complex reason. She previously told The Mirror: "Hot weather can cause bloating for several reasons. Firstly, the heat causes the blood vessels and capillaries to dilate allowing more fluid to fill in the interstitial spaces between organs and tissues."

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As temperatures rise, health experts are flagging potential digestive discomforts that can accompany the heat. Dr Mason highlighted three key reasons why hot weather might be causing you to feel bloated.

"Secondly, there is some, emerging, evidence that hot weather can change the bacterial mix in the gut which can lead to digestive problems such as diarrhoea and constipation which redirects blood flow to the gut. Thirdly, a heat wave can cause us to gulp down cold drinks causing bloating. For women all year round, bloating is more common before and during menstruation."

Dr Mason reassured that "in most cases this is not dangerous," but acknowledged the discomfort it can bring, suggesting a simple remedy to alleviate the issue a cup of tea. She specifically recommended black and ginger tea for their beneficial properties.

She detailed: "Black tea, so your cuppa (with or without milk) can help with bloating because of its flavonoid content. Tea flavonoids can reduce inflammation in the gut so helping to reduce bloating. Tea flavonoids can also improve the microbial mix in the gut by reducing the ratio of less healthy bacteria to healthy bacteria. Less healthy bacteria in the gut can contribute to bloating."

"Ginger tea has the ability to reduce indigestion which in turn can help reduce bloating too. But if you drink black tea, stick with it, as its flavonoid content can help overall health, including gut health."

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Dr Mason suggests that "eating more fibre (if you have constipation) and getting plenty of exercise" could be a solution to bloating. She further advises: "Also eat mindfully slowly and chewing carefully so as not to bloat yourself with gas. Most importantly stay well hydrated but it's best to drink non-fizzy drinks such as tea of all kinds and water."

She adds, "Sipping a warm cup of tea is helpful for bloating in part because you cannot gulp it down plus it's packed with many health and wellness benefits."