Stomach pain is a common complaint that most people experience at some point in their lives. While there are many potential causes of stomach pain, some people find that drinking juice helps provide relief from symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore whether juice is actually an effective remedy for stomach pain.
What Causes Stomach Pain?
There are a wide variety of possible causes of stomach pain, including:
- Gas and bloating
- Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Food poisoning
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Intolerance to certain foods
- Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Medications like antibiotics or NSAIDs
- Stress and anxiety
As you can see, stomach pain can stem from many different causes. Understanding the underlying reason for your discomfort is important in finding the appropriate treatment.
How Might Juice Help with Stomach Pain?
There are a few ways that drinking juice might help provide relief when you’re experiencing stomach pain:
- Hydration – Staying hydrated is key when you have an upset stomach. Juice provides fluids and electrolytes which can help replace what is lost through vomiting and diarrhea. The hydration may help settle digestive symptoms.
- Nutrients – Juices made from fruits and vegetables contain important vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help support the cells that line the GI tract and promote healing.
- Relief from gas/bloating – Some juices may help relieve extra gas that leads to bloating and discomfort. For example, ginger juice contains compounds that help relax GI muscles.
- Soothing effects – The liquid form and cool temperature of juice can help coat and soothe the stomach when it’s inflamed or irritated.
Best Juices for Stomach Pain
While most fruit and vegetable juices provide benefits, some stand out when it comes to stomach pain relief. Here are some of the top juices to try:
|Ginger||Reduces inflammation, aids digestion, relieves gas and bloating|
|Apple||High in pectin which helps soothe the GI tract|
|Papaya||Papain enzyme helps digest protein, anti-inflammatory effects|
|Fennel||Relieves gas, antimicrobial properties|
|Cucumber||Anti-inflammatory, hydrating, high antioxidant content|
|Watermelon||High water content keeps the body hydrated|
|Chamomile tea||Calming effects on the GI tract|
|Peppermint tea||Reduces intestinal spasms and gas pains|
|Lemon||Helps stimulate digestion|
|Cherry||Contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds|
When making juice for stomach pain, it’s best to use fresh, raw ingredients and avoid adding any artificial sugars. You can experiment with different combinations to see which juices work best for your symptoms.
Other Remedies for Stomach Pain
While juice can be a helpful part of treating stomach pain, there are other home remedies that may provide relief as well:
- Hot compresses – Applying a heat pad or hot water bottle to the stomach can help ease cramping and pain.
- Ginger – Ginger root tea or supplements may reduce inflammation.
- Probiotics – Taking probiotic supplements helps restore balance to gut bacteria.
- Peppermint – Peppermint tea can help relieve gas pains.
- BRAT Diet – Eating bland, low-fiber foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast during a flare.
- Avoid trigger foods – Eliminating foods that seem to make your symptoms worse.
- Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of clear fluids, like water or herbal tea.
- Rest – Getting enough sleep and reducing stress can help heal stomach issues.
For persistent or severe stomach pain, seeking medical attention is recommended. A doctor can help diagnose the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.
Is Juice Always Good for Stomach Pain?
While juice has many potential benefits for stomach problems, it isn’t necessarily a good choice in all cases. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Allergies – Some fruits or vegetables used in juices may trigger food sensitivities that make symptoms worse. Pay attention to your body’s response.
- Glucose content – The natural sugars in juice can exacerbate certain conditions like diarrhea or dumping syndrome after gastric surgery.
- FODMAPs – Some juices contain types of carbohydrates that can ferment in the gut and cause gas or bloating.
- Acidity – The acid content in citrus or other juices may irritate the stomach lining or esophagus.
- Artificial ingredients – Many store-bought juices contain added sugars, preservatives and other additives that can cause GI upset.
- Caffeine content – Juices made with tea or coffee may stimulate the gut.
- Infections – With conditions like food poisoning, juice and fiber may make diarrhea worse.
To prevent problems, go easy when first trying a new juice and pay attention to how your body responds. Avoid juice with additives and stick to small portions when sick.
Should You Drink Juice on an Empty Stomach?
Drinking juice on an empty stomach is a matter of some debate. Potential downsides of consuming juice before eating anything else include:
- The natural sugars in juice are absorbed very quickly, leading to a blood sugar spike and crash.
- Juice acids may irritate the sensitive stomach lining more without food present.
- The lack of protein, fat or fiber in juice may leave you feeling hungrier.
- Fructose-rich juices can cause gas, diarrhea or cramping when consumed alone.
That said, having a small glass of diluted juice 30-60 minutes before breakfast may help hydrate and energize you. If you have any blood sugar regulation issues, speak with your doctor first.
Tips for Using Juice to Relieve Stomach Pain
If you want to give juice a try for stomach discomfort, here are some useful tips:
- Drink juice chilled or over ice since cold temperatures are soothing.
- Consume juices in moderation – 4-6 oz servings spaced throughout the day.
- Combine your juices with blander liquids like water or coconut water.
- Avoid drinking large amounts of juice on an empty stomach.
- Try diluting or “stretching” juices with water, sparkling water, ice cubes or herbal tea.
- Use a straw when drinking juice to minimize contact with mouth and throat.
- Don’t force yourself to drink juice if it seems to make symptoms worse.
- Introduce new juices slowly to check for personal intolerances.
- Make your own fresh juices at home to control ingredients.
Pay attention to your body and how it responds to different juices. Keeping a symptom journal can help you determine which juices tend to provide the most relief for your stomach problems.
When to See a Doctor
Juice can be used as part of a self-care approach for minor stomach upset. However, it’s important to see a doctor if you experience:
- Frequent or chronic abdominal pain
- Bloody stools
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
- Extreme pain that prevents sleep or normal activities
- Fever along with stomach pain
- Jaundice (yellowing skin or eyes)
- Lumps or swelling in the abdomen
- Anemia from bleeding or malnutrition
Seeking prompt medical attention for serious symptoms can help diagnose and treat potentially dangerous conditions like peptic ulcers, pancreatitis, gallstones, appendicitis, or stomach cancers.
The Bottom Line
Drinking certain juices may help provide relief from stomach pain caused by things like gas, indigestion or inflammation. Juices with ginger, fennel, mint or papaya are among the best options. However, juice may not be advisable with all types of gastrointestinal issues. Drinking juice alone on an empty stomach can also be problematic for some people. While enjoying juice in moderation can be part of an overall stomach pain treatment plan, see your doctor for any persistent or severe symptoms.