Gut Health

Why Am I Bloated in the Evening?

Your stomach looks like you ate a basketball in one big gulp. You feel more than a little full… even if you haven’t eaten that much. And the bloating is so uncomfortable that it’s sometimes tough to wear pants (even with the button open).

This painful pressure gets even worse at night, making it hard to fall asleep. But in the morning when you wake up, your stomach is flat and mostly “back to normal.”

You’re probably wondering why you get so bloated in the evening… And if you are, you’re not alone. Millions of people suffer from this nightly tight and agonizing feeling.

Luckily, there are things you can do to beat the bloat. And the sooner you start, the faster you’ll feel comfortable.

But before you can fix the problem, you have to figure out the cause.

5 Reasons You’re More Bloated in the Evening

Bloating – officially known as abdominal distension – causes your belly to balloon out, making it feel overly full and tight.[1] Although bloating can sometimes be brought on by a medical condition like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), many everyday habits can trigger evening bloating.[2]

And once you identify your bloat triggers, you can make changes to keep your belly comfortable night or day. Here are five common reasons for evening bloat.

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1. Lying down soon after eating

Lying down after you eat can cause indigestion, gas, and bloating. That’s true whether you take a midday nap after lunch or eat dinner shortly before bedtime. Digestion works more efficiently when you’re upright… and slows down when you’re not.[3] Plus, being horizontal and still encourages air and gasses to accumulate in your small intestine and stomach. When that gas gets trapped, the result is bloating. It’s much harder for your body to expel gas when you’re lying down.

2. Having an imbalanced gut microbiome

Your gut microbiome contains trillions of bacteria, both beneficial probiotics and harmful pathogens. When pathogens outnumber probiotic bacteria – a condition called dysbiosis – they interfere with healthy digestion.[4] Your body can’t properly process nutrients when your gut is out of balance,[5] and that can lead to excess gas and bloating by the end of the day.

gut microbiome

3. Not producing enough digestive enzymes

Your body creates special enzymes to help break down the food you eat into nutrients. But sometimes, your body doesn’t create enough of the right types of enzymes to fully digest all the food you’ve eaten. By the evening, those undigested foods can start fermenting and giving off gas. This gets amplified by dysbiosis, as pathogens can interfere with proper digestion.[6] In a healthy gut, beneficial bacteria assist with enzyme production and digestion.

4. Eating too little prebiotic fiber or too much of the wrong prebiotic fiber

Prebiotic fiber helps keep you stay regular [7] and can help keep your gut microbiome in healthy balance. The trick is to get the right amount of the right fiber. But here’s the rub: Some kinds of fiber can make your bloating worse. Many forms of fiber can cause digestive upset, especially if you’re consuming too much of them. So you’ll want to look for prebiotic fiber that specifically does not cause those issues.

The most common forms of prebiotic fiber include:

  • Inulin
  • Oligofructose
  • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)
  • Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Xylooligosaccharides (XOS)

Unfortunately, prebiotics like oligofructose and inulin can add to your GI distress, causing more gas and bloating…[8] So make sure to stay far away from those.

5. Drinking carbonated beverages

While many people believe drinking soda can soothe your stomach, in this case it can add to your bloating woes. Not surprisingly, carbonated beverages add more gas into your system, increasing the amount of air trapped inside and increasing the bloat.

carbonated beverage

3 Reliable Solutions to Combat Evening Bloat

Now that you know what’s bringing on the evening bloat, you’ll be able to avoid known triggers. At the same time, you can count on these three solutions to help minimize bloating and keep your gut in good health.

1. Keep your gut microbiome in healthy balance

A healthy, well-balanced gut microbiome delivers dozens of digestive benefits… including the joy of not feeling bloated. Pathogenic bacteria can cause excess gas, bloating, and other GI discomforts. Keeping your microbiome in balance helps beneficial probiotic bacteria dominate and crowd out pathogens. When your gut microbiome contains predominantly probiotic bacteria, you can look forward to enjoying:

  • Efficient processing of macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates [9]
  • Robust production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as butyrate and acetate, which contribute to overall wellness [10]
  • Increased nutrient absorption [11]
  • The production of essential nutrients including vitamin K and several B vitamins [12]
  • Regular bowel movements [13]

On top of that, a healthy gut microbiome provides a whole body’s worth of health benefits – from optimizing “feel-good” neurotransmitter production [14] to promoting healthy blood pressure.[15]

2. Combat bloat with the right prebiotic fiber

Avoiding or minimizing bloat-causing fiber can help keep you more comfortable. But you still need the right prebiotic fiber to keep digestion running smoothly. Look for prebiotic fibers such as Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), [16] Galactooligosaccharides (GOS),[17]and Xylooligosaccharides (XOS)[18] that don’t cause gut distress. And as a bonus, FOS, GOS, and XOS feed only the beneficial probiotic bacteria in your gut microbiome, allowing them to thrive.

3. Keep moving throughout the day

Daily exercise and other forms of physical activity help your body expel gas. And as much as you may not want to fart, it’s better to get rid of that gas than to let it build up into painful bloat. Walking, doing gentle yoga poses, going for a bike ride… any kind of physical movement helps keep things flowing properly. And research shows that engaging in light exercise right after a meal can reduce bloating.[19]

Beat the Bloat with Just Thrive

A healthy gut microbiome means comfortable digestion, day and night which will do wonders for the dreaded bloat. You can beat bloat and keep your gut in great balance with Just Thrive Probiotic, a clinically studied combination of 4 proven-effective spore probiotics:

  • Bacillus indicus HU36™
  • Bacillus subtilis HU58™
  • Bacillus coagulans (SC-208)
  • Bacillus clausii (SC-109)

This unrivaled team of spore probiotics in Just Thrive Probiotic supports a diverse gut microbiome full of tummy-loving beneficial probiotic bacteria.

And you can help those beneficial bacteria flourish by nourishing them with Just Thrive PREbiotic.

Just Thrive PREbiotic contains an exclusive blend of FOS, GOS, and XOS that only feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut (and completely ignores the bad microbes). Just Thrive PREbiotic helps increase your populations of probiotics for a well-balanced gut—AND—the clinically studied prebiotic fibers help keep digestion smooth and comfortable.

Ready to beat the bloat? Excited to keep your pants comfortably buttoned? Looking forward to going to bed without a basketball in your stomach?

Adding Just Thrive Probiotic and PREbiotic to your daily routine can help keep your gut microbiome in optimal balance for more comfortable digestion.

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  14. Berding K, Vlckova K, Marx W, Schellekens H, Stanton C, Clarke G, Jacka F, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. Diet and the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis: Sowing the Seeds of Good Mental Health. Adv Nutr. 2021 Jul 30;12(4):1239-1285. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmaa181. PMID: 33693453; PMCID: PMC8321864.
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