Hi there, I'm giving up alcohol and have been drinking a low sugar fizzy elderflower drink in the evenings, a large bottle is around 250 cals, and I'm happy to spend those calories as they are within my daily limit. However I've been hearing that all carbonated drinks, even fizzy water should be avoided, as they can cause the stomach to expand / bloat, is this the case? Obviously I wouldn't touch the nasties, coke etc, but is fizzy water really to be avoided too? If so what would you recommend as a substitute, so that I still get a little sugar / sweetness to replace the alcohol, whilst staying healthy - Is juice a good option? Many thanks!
Thanks for getting in touch.
This is a bit of a conflicted area in terms of the research. But on the whole carbonated drinks are not thought to cause long term bloating - in fact some studies have shown that they can improve things like constipation. So if you find you don't suffer any adverse effects after drinking them, then it's fine to carry on.
The particular drink you're having is fairly high in sugar, which would be my main concern. If you're having over 500ml of this each day, you will be having more than your daily added sugar allowance in one drink. We should all aim to reduce our added sugar intake as much as we can, as these provide 'empty calories' - so very little nutritional benefit.
It's fine to enjoy this drink as an occasional treat, but it would be good to alternate between things like no-added sugar squash, or even diet versions of things like cola and lemonade. These contain sweeteners instead of sugar - so don't add to your calorie allowance. Sweeteners are fine to consume in moderation, so having a 'diet' drink of an evening is fine if it helps to give you a sweet hit. A small glass of fruit juice would also be fine - although these are higher in sugar, they do provide some vitamins and minerals in your diet too. But aim to stick to one 250ml serving a day.
I hope this helps and please let me know if you need anything further.
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