The gassy truth

Drinking beer doesn’t have to lead to a night of burps and farts. Allison Saunders tells us how to be a dainty, respectable drinker.

Save your beer gut with our drinking tips. - AARON MCKENZIE FRASER
Save your beer gut with our drinking tips.

Drinking beer doesn't have to lead to a night of burps and farts. Allison Saunders tells us how to be a dainty, respectable drinker.

It seems the tastiest things tend to piss off your stomach and sadly this doesn't exclude beer, especially in mass quantities. For most, seasoned suds drinkers or otherwise, a night of beer drinking results in that full, bloated feeling or Barney Gumble-esque gut rumbling.

Regardless of the price or type of beer, or whether it's mass-produced or micro-brewed, you can control how it affects your stomach. "If you have something in your stomach that's gassy anyway, that perpetuates the problem. If you eat something high in fat it takes your body longer to get rid of it, so it sort of sits in your intestine and your stomach...the longer it's there the more gas it produces," says registered dietician Elaine Horne who points out an empty stomach isn't the answer either.

Before a night of beer drinking, she suggests avoiding anything high in fibre, fat, protein or acid; basically, prepare yourself a pretty small and bland meal. Avoid other carbonated drinks and if you know something generally bugs your guts, don't eat it.

After pondering what you're priming your belly with, think about carbonation and the way you're drinking your beer. Horne says rather than drinking straight from the bottle or can, pour your beer into a glass to release some of that gas. Next, take into consideration the speed of your consumption. "If you're chugging something you're going to take air in because you're taking big gulps...especially out of a bottle." Slow it down, enjoy your brew and rethink the ol' bottoms-up philosophy.

There are safer bets like less carbonated beers (stouts, bitters and British-style ales) or light beers with less alcohol and carbs. What about draught's bad reputation for belly woes? "People tend to associate drinking draught with not feeling great, but I think that's mainly because it's consumed in larger amounts because it's usually cheaper."

And of course, there's always "everything in moderation." But where's the fun in that?

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