Waking Up Bloated? Here Are 3 Possible Underlying Reasons, According To MDs
OK, we've all experienced some extra bloat after an especially large meal, when we introduce loads of fiber too quickly into our diet, or when we eat something that doesn't quite agree with us. But if all of these instances are triggered by food, how can we explain those times when we wake up bloated?
It's understandably frustrating to open your eyes first thing in the morning and already feel the telltale signs. And with so much time passing between your last meal (unless you snuck in a midnight snack), it can be confusing to understand where this unwanted gas and air may be coming from.
If you find yourself waking up with bloat, your body may be trying to clue you in on some important information about your overall well-being. Here are the three main reasons you may experience bloat first thing in the morning—and what you can do to ease the feelings that come with it.
Why you might be waking up bloated:
You need to hydrate.
It's no secret that staying hydrated is essential to keep your body functioning at its highest capacity, but consistently failing to drink enough water may just be the culprit for your bloat. "I think there's nothing more important or helpful than starting the day with a tall glass of filtered or spring water before you eat anything," holistic psychiatrist and mbg Collective member Ellen Vora, M.D., previously told mbg. "This is the best way to prompt your body to have a thorough bowel movement and start the day with a calm stomach."
As regular bowel movements are another way to keep bloat at bay in the mornings and evenings, staying hydrated can help get things moving right when you wake up.
Your gut health could use some support.
Maintaining a balanced gut microbiome is essential for feeling great in your body, and if things are off with your gut health, you may notice bloat first thing in the morning (or really all times of the day.) The culprit may be "an imbalance of one's gut microbiota, between favorable and unfavorable microorganisms in the digestive tract," board-certified internist Vincent Pedre, M.D., previously explained. "Your gut contains about 500 to 1,000 species of bacteria. And the tiniest shifts in the relative predominance of these bacteria can affect how your gut works1."
Adding a high-quality supplement to your daily routine is one of the best ways to supply your gut with the good bacteria it needs. mbg's probiotic+ supplement is packed with four targeted strains to beat bloat and support your gut health, plus this unique probiotic is also formulated to promote abdominal comfort and regularity.*
You may also want to consider adding probiotic-rich foods such as miso soup, sauerkraut, and kombucha to your diet.
You're stressed out.
Everyone goes through stressful periods at one point or another, but this can actually affect the gut and lead to bloating first thing in the morning—especially if you frequently hold on to feelings of anxiousness.
While adapting your diet may be useful, there are other options for targeting stress and soothing the body. "Perhaps you need better sleep and a meditation practice," suggests integrative gastroenterologist Marvin Singh, M.D. "Perhaps you need to alter your diet habits or alcohol use. These are all different solutions that could potentially be helpful," he says. Here's our definitive list of self-care practices that may just help.
While bloating is common, albeit frustrating, take note if you're experiencing it first thing in the morning. Consider hydrating, taking a probiotic supplement, incorporating fermented foods, and easing stress levels to help combat your morning bloat.*
If you've tried adjusting your lifestyle habits, without avail, it may be worth checking in with a health care professional to help you get to the root of the issue and feel your absolute best.
Merrell Readman is the Associate Food & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. Readman is a Fordham University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in film and television. She has covered beauty, health, and well-being throughout her editorial career, and formerly worked at SheFinds. Her byline has also appeared in Women’s Health. In her current role, she writes and edits for the health, movement, and food sections of mindbodygreen. Readman currently lives in New York City.