We all know how much the symptoms can sabotage your plans and mood like no other. But the question is, how do you get rid of belly bloat? What do you do when you're supposed to be somewhere, in something (you know, the pants with that button, your little black dress, perhaps even a bathing suit), and suddenly your stomach looks and feels like you swallowed a basketball? Not only is it uncomfortable (and painful), but it could also be a sign of inflammation too. How do you banish bloat in its tracks when you've got a bloating emergency?
We posed that question to the insanely fit trainers and nutrition gurus behind lifestyle brand Tone It Up, Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn, who both know a thing or two about a flat tummy. Keep scrolling for their de-bloating road map!
Sip Lemon Water
If you only have a few hours before an event, Karen and Katrina recommend drinking some water with fresh lemon and a little cayenne pepper, for a de-bloating tonic.
Spice It Up
On that note, you might be bloated because of indigestion or gastrointestinal distress. Cayenne pepper stimulates digestion, eases gas, and can relieve pressure and cramping. It's basically a bloated belly's most formidable match when you're in a bind, so toss a teaspoon into your drink of choice (more options below).
Take Some Turmeric
Like cayenne pepper, turmeric is a detoxifying spice. The girls buy it in powder form, but you can also get drops of turmeric, and add a teaspoon (in either form) to water, tea, juice, or a smoothie before an event.
Drink Coconut Water
In addition to water with lemon and cayenne pepper, sip coconut water, which helps to de-bloat. "You really want to stay hydrated to flush out any extra sodium," so just keep sipping the right fluids, they say.
Make Ginger Your Friend
"Ginger is great for de-bloating, whether you make ginger tea or have fresh juice with ginger or a smoothie in which you include ginger," the girls say. "We love fresh turmeric, ginger, and lemon for making a juice; that's our favorite. We like taking shots of ginger, too. If you have a juicer, you can juice a bunch of ginger and have it on hand, and either take a shot of it or pour it into your smoothies and mix it up. We make huge batches of it to have on hand. If you don't have a juicer, you can slice up little bits of ginger—it's hard to grind up in a smoothie, so it's almost like you have to mince it, make it really small, and then throw it in the blender," they say.
A further benefit, they explain, is relief from the menstrual cramps that cause bloating.
Drink Peppermint Tea
If you prefer the taste or want something in addition to water and coconut water, "teas like peppermint or ginger will alleviate bloat."
"There are foods like asparagus that are a natural diuretic. So if it is a little further ahead of time (a few hours versus just one, for example), you can eat some asparagus to help you lose some bloat," they say. Just make sure to not sprinkle any salt on it! Sodium causes bloat, so lay off the shaker before an event.
Spinach also helps lessen belly bloat by pushing fiber through your digestive tract. Your best bet for reaping its de-bloating benefits is to toss some spinach into a slimming smoothie along with ginger, turmeric, and coconut water. Keep scrolling for a full recipe.
Sweat It Out
"If you have an hour before the event, there's nothing like a little sweat session for getting rid of bloat," they say. "Do one of our video workouts, whether you're in a hotel room or your family room; they can be done anywhere. Even just sweating a little bit will help de-bloat you."
De-Bloating Colada Smoothie Recipe
(Adapted from the new Tone It Up Eight-Week Bikini Program)
1/2 cup coconut water
1 1/2 cups diced pineapple (fresh or frozen)
1/2 inch peeled ginger knob
1/2 cup ice
Handful of spinach
1 tsp. turmeric
Dash of cayenne pepper