Gassy Stomach After Swimming

Don’t you feel good after finishing a long session of swimming? You have toned your muscles, strengthened your bones, and torched some calories. You have worked your way to improved well-being. Also, you are now more confident about your appearance. Everything feels great – except for your upset and gassy stomach after swimming.

Do you experience bloating, belching, farting, and stomach pains following a long swim? You are not alone to feel this. The gassy and uncomfortable sensation is commonly caused by aerophagia. It is the act of ingesting air while swimming. Although passing gas is a normal function of the digestive system, there are various factors that cause you to ingest extra air when swimming, including your diet and swimming techniques.

Causes of Bloating & Gassy Stomach

You might feel uncomfortable or bloated for many reasons, from common to serious. If you experience bloating often, you can get over this once you know its cause. 

1. Gas

Some foods cause your gastrointestinal tract to release more gas compared to other food items. Mostly these include vegetables with high-sulfur count like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Swallowing air is another common reason.

2. Heavy Meals

Depending on when you eat, you could go many hours between meals, increasing your hunger and causing you to eat more than you require, which can lead you to produce more gas than usual.

3. Menstruation

Your hormone level also changes during periods and this could lead to experiencing bloating. Lack of fibre: Lack of fibre can also lead to the recommendation to summarise food through the digestive system in an unproficient manner.

4. A Sedentary lifestyle

Sitting in a specific position for a long period also poses a threat to digestion on the ground that the parts of the body such as the intestinal tract are compressed. 

5. Stress

If stressed, the body’s metabolism slows down; the effects of this include though stress results in pain, bloating and indigestion.

6. Other medical issues

Swelling can also be caused by some other problems, Illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome, among others.

Don’t consume food products irritating the stomach or causing gas before swimming Do not consume foods that trigger gas or heartburn such as greasy foods, caffeine, high-fiber foods such as beans, broccoli, apples, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, and fructose as they slow down bowel movement. If processed food triggers your meltdowns avoid taking lactose, substances found in dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and milk. There are likewise certain foods that individuals with GERD should not take or consume that contribute to reflux or create an acidic environment in the tummy. 

Among other things, they are caffeine and fatty and fried foods, chocolate, acidic fruits and vegetables, mints, and spices. A small FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo- Di- Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet may help decrease symptoms of bloating and abdominal pain as well.

Foods You Should Never Eat Before You Swim to avoid Gassy Stomach

If you enjoy swimming as a leisure activity during the summer, then you must avoid a list of foods before swimming. Certain foods can impact your performance and overall experience in the water. Take a look.

​1. Ice cream​

Intake of high-fat-containing foods before taking a swim can lead to discomfort or indigestion, and ice cream is a major culprit.

2. Spicy foods​

Since your body is often in a horizontal position when you’re swimming, spicy food can cause acid reflux which can become an issue. Steer clear of hot sauces and peppers before you take a dip to decrease the chances of discomfort.

3. Fruit juice & soda​

Accept taking water or sports drinks only instead of fruit juices and sugary soda since they are likely to cause bloated and further cramping. The constituents contained in those liquids contribute to distension on the actual external sheath of your abdominal cavity, thereby dampening the spirit of any swimming spree. So while often you may dismiss a beverage or a grain of food as harmless, think again, because they are anything but harmless.

​4. Beans​

Many of the known meats for instance chicken, beef, cheese and most of the known proteins contain low fiber but will offer satiety more than a serving of spinach or salad vegetables. If one takes a heavy meal before swimming the consequence is water bloat, constipation and stomach ache – none of which you will want to dance in the water for. So there must avoid other such fibrous vegetables like broccoli.

​5. Coffee​

Some individuals affirm that caffeine helps to energize swimming; it is a plus and minus factor. Congestion can potentially cause you to suffer from diarrhea or nausea and if you consume energy drinks or coffee it may make you dehydrated in the water.

How to avoid Gassy Stomach After Swimming

If you love swimming yet you’d love to feel nothing but refreshed after a vigorous swim workout, ahead are six ways to reduce aerophagia.

1. Abstain from flatulence-causing foods

Aside from chewing gum and carbonated drinks which are notorious for ingesting too much gas in your gut, other healthy foods also trap excess gas, thus should also be avoided prior to hitting the pool. Foods such as milk and dairy products (lactose causes gas), starchy foods like pasta and potatoes, and fiber-rich foods like broccoli, cauliflower, wheat, and beans, are among those big offenders.

Gassy Stomach After Swimming


Processed foods with artificial sweeteners, greasy foods, chocolates, mints, and caffeinated drinks may also cause gas ingestion and result in increased reflux or belching, and discomfort.

2. Eat smaller food portions frequently

A myth says that you should keep an empty stomach prior to swimming. That’s not entirely true because you need fuel in order to swim effectively. However, it’s important to watch what you eat and try to keep it light. Shifting your body from a vertical to a horizontal position while digesting food causes air to get trapped in the fluids of your stomach. It propels into the small intestine, This can result in pain and subsequent flatulence.

So instead of having huge servings, it’s suggested to have small, frequent meals before and after your swim training. You should also not swim right after eating. Time your small meals within two to three hours before wearing your swim cap and goggles and taking a plunge.

3. Chow down slowly

Next, to eating light, you should also take smaller bites and make sure to chew your food thoroughly to prevent air ingestion. You are likely to swallow too much air and cause flatulence if you eat too quickly and take bites like a hungry monster.

4. Calm down before you swim

When you’re nervous, you are likely to take larger gulps of air than normal. It increases the amount of air you ingest while swimming. Before jumping onto the water, try calming exercises. These can be like yoga, stretching, and taking slow deep breaths. Being calm helps you take natural, controlled breaths in the pool.

5. Pay attention to your breathing techniques

Gassy Stomach After Swimming

Similar to your pre-workout meals, you should also be aware of your breathing techniques. You should take smaller, more frequent breaths. No matter how rapidly or vigorously you swim, try not to take large gulps of air. Increasing your breathing rate allows you to prevent taking in more air than you need.

For instance, if you usually gasp a big amount of air on every third stroke while performing the front crawl, you may switch to taking smaller breaths with every other stroke. If you’re unsure, you may consult your swim coach about your breathing techniques in the water.

6. Breathe through your nose

Doing this whenever possible is one good way to control the flow of air and prevent ingesting it. In swimming, you should always be exhaling except when your head is above the water in order to inhale. While you could breathe either out of the nose or the mouth, breathing through the nose lessens the chances you’ll swallow air and water.

Start at a slower pace when practicing this technique. Keep your face in the water and allow a stream of bubbles to slowly release from your nostrils. Apply this to all different swim strokes. Gradually increase your speed once you’re comfortable with it.

Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Swimprint, a go-to shop for swimming enthusiasts, specializing in swim caps in the UK. While she’s fascinated by writing articles focused on sport fashion, health, and wellness, she swears to never give up pizza.

7. Focus on fiber

Low-fiber or irregular bowel movements therefore cause a buildup of gas within the stomach region, which results in bloating. There is a fiber intake goal for everyone it’s approximated to be 25 grams a day, and above all, it helps one avoid constipation and keeps you full for a longer time. Some of the fruits you can take are apples and berries; vegetables are sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli; foods with high fibre content are chia seeds, flaxseeds and oatmeal.

8. Give Yourself an Abdominal Massage 

Try massaging your abdomen if dietary changes do not help your bloating. Doing so can help move food along in your bowels, and reduce your discomfort. 

Start from your right side near your pelvis and rub upwards in a circular motion until you reach your rib-cage. Move in a straight line to your upper left side and move down to your left towards down. Once, they go upward towards your belly button. Then, repeat this for up to 10-15 minutes, always moving in a clockwise direction. Going counter-clockwise could make your problem worse. 

Connection Between Swimming and Digestive Discomfort

Besides the fact that swimming leads to excessive accumulation of gases, can further lead to other forms of digestive problems like indigestion and heartburn. These symptoms may arise from the movement of water that affects the normative flow of digestive enzymes and bitter substances that may cause discomfort.

We continue to swim and change in position which may be disadvantageous since the stomach acids will also move in their unusual pattern. These movements may lead to a bout of acid reflux and this feels like burning at the back of the throat or in the chest. For people who already have some digestive difficulties, for instance, afresh GERD diagnosis, swimmers are more likely to experience these discomforts.

In addition, headaches can be worse by dehydration and discomfort in the pool can intensify gastrointestinal discomfort during swimming. It was found that if the body is not well-hydrated, digestion may be affected thus digestion turns to be slower and bloating experts. To reduce the risk of digestive upset more so in swimmers it is good practice to ensure that one drinks before and after their swimming exercise session.

Specifically, regarding aquatic therapy, swimmers should be informed of the possibilities of swelling and distension of the gastrointestinal tract. Accordingly, the cause of water retention may be identified, and having prevented it, swimmers will be able to significantly reduce the unpleasant sensations that occur during water-based exercises.

5-Minute Workouts to say goodbye to Bloating

Try our anti-bloat exercises to help promote circulation and blood flow and banish that will help you get rid of bloat. Let’s have a look at them:

Try it first: Cardio

Whether a nice bike ride, a long walk, a brisk jog, or even a jaunt on the elliptical, cardio will help deflate your bloat. Physical activity such as this will help reduce the gas that causes pain and help move digestion along.

Now start: Yoga poses

Torso Twist

The Torso Twist will help you increase blood circulation and flow — exactly what you require when your stomach feels like a pufferfish.

  1. Sit down on the mat with your arms at your sides and legs extended.
  2. Engage your abs, flex your hips and knees, lift your legs higher and tuck them close to your torso, and sit on your sitting bones. Hold both your elbows and allow them to come close to your chest level in front of you while your palms touch each other. 
  3. Ensure that you have a good posture, with your core muscles tensed and your neck and back straight, follow the instruction to rotate your upper body to the left and continue until your right elbow gets closer to your knees.
  4. Back to the middle and repeat twisting to the right.
  5. Complete 2-3 sets of 10 reps.

Cat-Cow

The Cat-Cow pose will help with bloat and digestion. In this exercise, it is time to experiment on your digestive system and perform squeezes to your intestines.

  1. Starting position on all fours with your knees directly below your hips and your hands, below your shoulders. Your spine and neck should be neutral.
  2. Engaging your core, begin the upward phase of the movement: Take a deep breath then roll your spine back to the ceiling while extending and arching your back; let your head drop down as it also falls in line with the rest of your spine. Hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Continuing to engage your core, move to the downward phase: Let your stomach fall toward the floor, arching your back to the opposite side. Keeping your neck neutral, get your shoulders together. Hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat 3 times for 1 minute total.

Extended Triangle Pose

The good stretching in the Extended Triangle Pose will help reduce bloating.

  1. With your feet together, stand straight and your arms down by your sides.
  2. Taking a step backwards 3-4 inches, shift the left foot ninety degrees; pivot your chest from the left side.
  3. As this is done, ensure your legs are straight and your head is up, your right arm should be brought forward and the left arm backwards with palms facing the ground.
  4. Hinging at the waist, put your right hand on the floor, keeping your chest open and your left arm extended.
  5. Bring your gaze to wherever it’s comfortable — up toward straight ahead or left arm. Hold this for 15 seconds, ensuring your breath is deep and conscious.
  6. Repeat with the other side.

Sphinx Pose

Sphinx Pose is almost in the same variation as the Cobra Pose and as the name suggests, it will extend your heading part or your torso and therefore, your digestive organs which inclines digestion. 

  1. Start the exercise by placing your body down on the exercising mat horizontally at the abdomen and then put your palms beside chest level and bend your elbows.
  2. Bracing your core, press up slowly by extending through your spine. Keep your glutes relaxed and use your lower back while maintaining a neutral neck.
  3. Once you’ve reached a comfortable height, hold for a few seconds and lower back down to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 5 times.

Extended Puppy Pose

Eaten too much? Never mind, why not give one of the puppy positions like a yoga pose a shot, it will leave you as calm and secure as a puppy. 

1 The starting position will have your hands placed directly under your shoulders, and your knees placed directly under your hips. 

2. Push off the nursing table, move your hands three to four inches forward and try to bend the top of your toes to touch the floor. 

3. Breathe out and push backwards on your heels as you lie down flat on the floor bringing your forehead to the floor and touching the floor with your palms as you spread out your arms.

4. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

5. Must track your diet and bloat response, as well as yoga and cardio moves, which will have you feeling back to yourself in no time!

Is your bloating is persistent or causing extreme pain in your abdomen? Is it even after you’ve tried doing exercise or changing your diet? Consult with your doctor. While bloating is not a serious issue, it can also be an early sign of ovarian cancer in women. The key to knowing whether it’s common or serious is to get a screening. The results can help you to get rid of bloating.

When to Seek Medical Advice

Most of the time, bloating after swimming is temporary and can be resolved by doing some small efforts. However, there are instances where bloating may indicate a more serious underlying problem.

If bloating persists or is accompanied by severe pain, uncommon weight loss, changes in eating habits, or other concerning symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional. These symptoms could indicate more serious digestive issues that need medical attention.

Any form of cramping or excessive swelling that is recurrent or persistent after swimming must be taken seriously. Further evaluation may reveal underlying conditions such as gastrointestinal diseases or IBS. Do you face consistent problems of bloated stomach? You should consult your doctor for evaluation to know the best course to be taken.

Conclusion

However, do you continue to suffer from pain, bloating, gas, or stomach aches after swimming? It is recommended you seek the services of a doctor. Stomach pain and bloating are terms that are used interchangeably. These are characteristic of functional gastrointestinal disorders. These can be irritable bowel syndrome and might similarly be symptoms of other severe diseases. Chances are high that bloating and stomach pain with swimming are harmless and can be contained with these tweaks. However, medications can assist with the management of any underlying disorders (including GERD) when indicated. Registered sports dietitians are invaluable in identifying nutritional triggers and timing. So, be sure to reach out if symptoms are seemingly mysterious, frequent, or recalcitrant to simple fixes! 

By Punit