Bloated Belly? The 5 Best Supplements for Bloating Relief

Bloated Belly? The 5 Best Supplements for Bloating Relief

Scientifically reviewed by: Michael A. Smith, MD

We’ve all felt a little rounder than we want to be from time to time. Maybe it was after a big meal or after getting off an airplane. Perhaps you ate something that disagreed with you. But no matter when you experienced it, odds are that bloating left a profound impression—particularly around your beltline.

A bloated belly isn’t the same thing as belly fat, accumulated over months or years, which can only be addressed by diet and exercise. Bloating isn’t “water weight,” either. If you’re retaining water, it’s most likely going to happen in your legs and ankles (assuming you are ambulatory. If you’re bed-ridden, much different story).

But if your stomach suddenly looks bigger, though, and you feel uncomfortable, bloating is the likely culprit. Your abdomen may also be distended and physically hard to the touch.

This is no fun, but fortunately, there are supplements that can give you the relief you need.

What causes bloating?

Woman sipping soda that can cause bloating

Bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal tract is filled with occasional air or gas. It can also potentially be caused by occasional constipation. That’s a buildup of…ahem…something else.  

What causes this uncomfortable predicament? It could be something you ate—or did:

Fizzy drinks can cause bloating.

Those delightful, tingly bubbles? The ones that get you through the afternoon doldrums, rushing caffeine to your poor, stimulation-starved brain? Yeah, that’s gas. Drink a lot of gas, and there’s going to be an unnecessary and sometimes excessive buildup of gas in your digestive system. So that’s a “no” on the soda. Try green tea or spearmint tea instead.

Plastic straws and chewing gum can cause bloating.

Wait, what? Ok think about it this way: you’re either sucking up air (along with your favorite most-likely-fizzy beverage) or you’re chewing for a prolonged amount of time—for no reason. This results in you swallowing more air than you normally would when you eat. So sip the cup, and quit with the gum. Switch to lozenges or hard candy instead.

Man eating salad slowly to avoid bloating

How you eat may cause bloating.

Oh, and speaking of eating, chew your food. Slowly. Like you were raised to do. Sorry to say, your mother was right about a great many things.

Lack of fiber may make you bloated.

Fiber helps support regularity—and if there’s something in your digestive system that you don’t want there anymore, regularity is pretty much your body’s number one solution (or in this case, number two). So healthy diets full of fiber and vegetables may help relieve bloating because they help get your digestive system moving, and that which has built up is shown the door. (You may however want to limit your intake of certain plant foods, like cabbage and beans, if you find they cause more gas.)

In addition to fiber, there are a select few dream-team vegetable and plant extracts, probiotics and other supplement formulas that can help relieve bloating by actually inhibiting the amount of occasional gas your digestive system produces.

Here are our top picks.

Supplements that help with bloating

Bloat Relief - 60 Softgels

1. Bloat Relief

Life Extension’s best-in-class formula for relieving bloating and other digestive discomforts after meals combines artichoke leaf, ginger root, fennel and turmeric extracts. Artichoke leaf and ginger root help get your digestive system’s “conveyor belt” moving. This is called “digestive motility,” and it is the first step towards relieving bloating.

Next, fennel seed oil (along with turmeric) encourage the healthy contractions in your GI tract that serve as the motor behind that digestive conveyor belt that we mentioned earlier. These two ingredients also inhibit the bacteria that produce occasional gas (and can sometimes be accused of over-achieving) during the digestive process.

2. Probiotics

Florassist GI with Page Technology - 30 Capsules

A high-quality probiotic will help promote digestive health (among other benefits)—which is key to avoiding bloating due to gas or occasional constipation. Which probiotic should you choose? The best one we make is called FLORASSIST® GI with Phage Technology. Not only does it provide seven healthy probiotic strains to help your digestive system stay in balance and promote the healthy breakdown of foods and absorption of nutrients, but it also has an innovative bacteriophage blend that targets the unwanted bacteria while leaving the good guys alone.

If you’re bloated because you’re not as “regular” as you’d like to be, Life Extension has identified a probiotic strain clinically studied to promote regularity and relieve occasional constipation. Our FLORASSIST® Daily Bowel Regularity contains the Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 strain, which helps speed up the time it takes for your food to go from your stomach to your colon.

3. Digestive enzymes

Super Digestive Enzymes - 60 Capsules

It is possible that sometimes that you might have occasional difficulty digesting things (and therefore experience occasional constipation and bloating) when your pancreas doesn’t create enough digestive enzymes. If that’s the case for you, a supplement can pick up where your pancreas left off!

Life Extension’s vegetarian Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes formula includes alpha-galactosidase, protease 3.0 and lipase, as well as a 10-enzyme blend to promote optimal digestion of plant sugars and starches, dietary fiber, protein, fats and dairy: all prime suspects when you are feeling uncomfortable after you eat. We even offer it with a probiotic strain to enhance digestion.

4. Effervescent Vitamin C Magnesium Crystals

Particularly if you can’t tolerate a lot of fiber in your diet, this formula is a great pick to support digestion—and relieve bloating in the process! Both vitamin C and magnesium act as osmotic agents, drawing water into the intestines, which really gets things moving.

Not only does this dose-adjustable formula work immediately, but it also provides magnesium and vitamin C, which support already-healthy blood pressure levels and immune health, respectively.

5. Green tea

Product bottle of Life Extension's Mega Green Tea Extract

Because it contains some caffeine, green tea can help move things along when you’re bloated. Don’t have time to brew and sip? Our Lightly Caffeinated Mega Green Tea Extract supplement will offer you all of the benefits of multiple cups. Extra bonus: green tea also is packed with antioxidants like epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

So there you go—the best supplements to tame your tummy and keep your digestion moving! For best results, eat a healthy diet, exercise and take a probiotic regularly.

But if you just couldn’t resist a fizzy drink, know there are options that will help you feeling like your old self again soon.

References

  • Donohue, Maureen. “What’s Causing My Abdominal Bloating, and How Do I Treat It?” Healthline, March 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/abdominal-bloating
  • Giacosa, Attilio. “The Effect of Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) and Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) Extract Supplementation on Functional Dyspepsia: A Randomised, Double-Blind, and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., April 2015, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25954317/
  • Sabino, João et al. “Review article: bacteriophages in gastroenterology-from biology to clinical applications.” Ailment Pharmacol Ther., January 2020, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31696976/