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What You Should Drink After A Meal? 

DRINKS TO HELP WITH DIGESTION

Article by Dr. Layla Sade

Photography by Layla Sade

Did you know something as simple as drinking an optimal beverage can also keep things moving?

As for what those beverages are, you have quite a few options, so it's really up to personal taste. From tangy to soothing to fizzy, these are the best expert-backed drinks to sip on after your meal to support digestion and ease your stomach.

The best drinks for digestion:

1. Apple cider vinegar

One of the most talked-about drinks for digestion, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a fermented product that contains good-for-your-gut bacteria. What's more, the high acidity in ACV helps break down food in the stomach by introducing more acid into the stomach tract.

Apple cider vinegar may also be particularly useful after eating carb-dense meals, as research suggests that it can reduce the glucose response of certain foods. One study even shows that daily vinegar intake (about 2 to 6 tablespoons per day) improved the glycemic response to carbohydrate-rich meals.

That said, it's important to dilute your ACV beverage rather than drink it straight. Since it's very acidic, too much ACV may be harmful to your esophagus and your tooth enamel. Generally its recommended having one to two tablespoons with a glass of water immediately before meals. It can be taken during or after meals but is likely most effective when consumed before meals. Along with diluting your ACV with water, its recommended drinking it through a straw to help protect your teeth.

2. Peppermint tea

If you're a tea fan, there are several options that can help with digestion, and peppermint is one great choice. Peppermint has been shown in studies to reduce spasms in the digestive tract, meaning your body is more relaxed and can more easily digest food after ingesting it. Peppermint tea may also help ease gas and bloating for better overall comfort. 

3. Ginger tea

Another soothing tea, ginger has long been known to ease tummy troubles but may also be useful in supporting healthy digestion, as well. Ginger root stimulates saliva flow, bile and gastric juice production, which can help with digestion and possibly improve sluggish digestive symptoms.

You may feel sluggish after eating if your food is taking a while to digest or you had an especially large meal, so something like ginger tea can help break down food and leave your gut feeling great.

4. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented drink touted for its ability to provide beneficial bacteria to the gut. Drinking it after a meal may assist with digestion and also provide a sweet taste to end the meal. The tangy flavor certainly may not be for everyone, but with a range of delicious flavors to choose from, kombucha is an excellent effervescent treat. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, proceed with caution: Kombucha does contain caffeine and may contain alcohol, albeit in very small amounts. 

5. Green juice

If you want to double down on nutrients, green juice is another great option to nourish your body while supporting healthy digestion.

Rounding out your meal with the right drink can make all the difference for your digestion. Just remember: The foods you're fueling your body with also affect how you're feeling once you finish eating. Creating well-rounded, nutrient-dense dishes is the first step in preventing bloat and supporting digestion.