Does Sugar Cause Bloating: Which Types, How, and What to Do


Tea Facts /

I’ve been exploring how tea can benefit people who suffer from bloating, whether it’s regularly or periodically. And there are a number of teas that relieve bloating. But does sugar cause bloating? This is what I’m going to answer today.

I’m talking about this subject because I, like many, often add some form of sugar in some teas that I drink, particularly black tea, and sometimes honey in other teas.

Let’s start with a quick summary answer, then we’ll get into more details…

Types of sugar such as fructose, lactose, raffinose, and sorbitol can all potentially cause bloating. Regular refined table sugar that is commonly used, and its numerous variations are full of carbohydrates. When consumed these can also instigate excessive bloating. 

In general, foods that contain a high profile of carbohydrates can cause bloating. And that might raise more questions, like how does this happen? So let’s get into that next.

How sugar can make you feel bloated

Bloating primarily develops in your large intestine or colon – which is home to a large number of harmless bacteria.

These “good bacteria” support the breakdown of the food you eat, thereby keeping your entire body healthy.

When you eat or drink, what happens is that certain foods …mainly sugar, starches, and fibers cannot reach full digestion.

Food particles of this type that have not been completely digested can sit in your large intestine.

These undigested food particles are then consumed by the bacteria in your large intestine. This process is often called fermenting.

The process of fermenting in your large intestine can create a gas – mainly in the form of hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide.

This is one thing to be aware of when eating fermented foods. Bloating can be a common issue if you don’t approach it correctly. Kylie Nation talks more about this in her video.

While having gas in your body is completely normal, excess gas that causes bloating can simply mean that your body, or more specifically, your digestive system, is not agreeing with something you eat.

A lot of bloating can be an indication that something in your diet needs to change.

Among the different types of food that cause bloating – sugar is a key source.

The complexity in identifying whether sugar makes you bloated is that there are many different types of sugars, this is aside from the regular table sugar that we all often consume.

Depending on how your body accepts sugar – and more importantly – digests it, some types of sugar can cause more bloating than others.

So let’s get a quick overview of the types of sugar that can cause bloating.

Types of sugar that cause bloating

Generally, all types of food that have a high profile of carbohydrates can cause bloating. The refined table sugar we’re all familiar with is full of carbohydrates, and so when consumed excessively can promote bloating.

Generally, sugar used for cooking and beverages come in different varieties and forms, of which the most common are:

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Caster Sugar
  • Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Pearl Sugar
  • Sanding Sugar
  • Cane Sugar
  • Demerara Sugar
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Muscovado Sugar
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Dark Brown Sugar

Consuming any of these sugar varieties can cause excessive bloating. 

Aside from these varieties, there are other types of sugars that also cause bloating, 

Fructose

Fructose is a type of sugar naturally found in fruits, but it also represents half of the sugar found in table sugar and is present in other sweeteners, such as honey, agave, or corn syrup. As well as other types of processed food.

If fructose causes bloating, it might be an indication to cut down on high-fructose fruits like apples, watermelons, and grapes. It’s also argued among experts that too much fructose is bad for your health anyway.

Instead go for low fructose options like Avocados, green bananas, blueberries, and strawberries.

Lactose

We all know lactose is an element associated with milk, but in fact, lactose is the main sugar in milk.

If your body can’t digest lactose-based milk or milk products, then you could experience bloating.

The best option to reduce bloating, in this case, is to opt for lactose-free kinds of milk like soya milk, oat milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, rice-based milk, hazelnut milk, etc.

You can include these in teas as well, some go better with others, and some are an acquired taste, but if it is an issue then you may need to consider that change.

Raffinose

Generally, when we talk about sugar we assume all things sweet. However, some vegetables have sugar content too – in the form called Raffinose.

This type of sugar is found in vegetables like peas, brussels sprouts, broccoli, radishes, celery, carrots, and cabbage and is highly prone to causing bloating.

Sorbitol

Sorbitol is a type of sugar alcohol that is found in some fruits like apples, apricots, avocado, blackberries, cherries, lychees, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes. 

Sometimes this type of sugar is also used as an alternative in diabetic sweeteners and other low-carb food and candies. 

does sugar cause bloating
does sugar cause bloating

How bloating affects you

Often bloating doesn’t lead to serious health issues …or concerns, and often stops after a short period of time.

However, they can develop certain unpleasant effects that can disturb your routines such as stomach pain, discomfort, gas, frequent burping, belching, abdominal rumbling, or gurgling.

In severe cases, bloating may cause other serious symptoms, such as:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Noticeable weight loss without effort 
  • Vaginal bleeding 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn 
  • Fever (because of potential infection)

If these symptoms become unbearable, then seek immediate medical help.

What to do for bloating from sugar

One best way to identify which sugar source causes your bloating is to keep a track of uncomfortable symptoms you develop after consuming the different types of sugars of the types discussed above.

Then, note down all the possible sugar types that you suspect may be the culprit, and get onto an elimination diet.

This will confirm what types of sugar may be causing you to bloat. While these are two general techniques you can do to identify what types of sugar cause bloating, it’s always best to consult a nutritionist, dietician, or doctor.

Professionals like this can help you with identifying the type of sugar that causes bloating and provide an action plan on how to control them.

If sugar isn’t the cause of bloating, your doctor can conduct relevant tests and identify other gastrointestinal problems or issues that are responsible for your bloating.

More sugar and bloating help…

I hope this article has been useful in answering the question …does sugar cause bloating. Be sure to check out my list of teas that are great for reducing bloating, and also, look at other articles on my site concerning sugar, honey, teas, and dieting, such as those listed below:

Can you put sugar in green tea?

Does honey break a fast

What is herbal tea good for

tea sommelier course

Take the fast track to become a tea connoisseur

Whether for enjoyment or considering a career as a tea sommelier. This course has everything you need to enhance your tea knowledge and tea tasting skills.

This course keeps it simple with step by step tea tasting, and easy reference guides

For pleasure, or as a precursor to a career in the tea industry. Find out what a tea sommelier actually does, career paths, and what they earn.

Find out more about the Teahow Tea Sommelier Course!