I’m a Health Coach—This Is the Herbal Tonic I Drink Anytime I Feel Bloated

Graphic: Well+Good Creative
I spent the majority of my 20s toting Tums in my purse, popping 'em like candy any time I felt a bout of bloat come my way. Eating healthy was not really on my radar then. My pantry was stocked with food that had an expiration date 10 years into the future and I stayed well-hydrated on an alternating beverage schedule of coffee (during the day) and vodka tonics (from happy hour 'til midnight). I didn't know the importance of fiber, had no idea what probiotics where, and definitely didn't drink enough water. It's no wonder I felt bloated so often.

Eventually, I got sick of constantly being exhausted and started making small steps to take better care of myself. I started eating healthier, going to bed at a decent hour, and even pivoted my career to become a holistic health coach and a wellness reporter. While I'm nowhere near done learning—something I love most about my job is that I'm constantly educating myself—but four years into my job covering the healthy food scene, I've discovered a lot, and my health is better because of it.

One perk of my job is getting the inside scoop on soon-to-be launched wellness companies and getting to try the goods first-hand. I'm not going to lie: some are nothing more than pretty packaging and a mediocre product; a wolf in sheep's clothing. So many times, I've discovered a new brand claiming to be healthy only to read the nutrition panel and find that it's full of sugar or other not-so-great ingredients. Other times, I come across a new food or drink that is so amazing—both in taste and health benefits—that I have the urge to tell everyone about it. And that's what happened when I discovered Sunwink's Detox Ginger herbal tonic.

I tried Sunwink for the first time at ExpoWest 2019, the world's biggest natural products convention. Of the 3,500 brands that descended upon the convention center that sunny March weekend, it's one I was most impressed by. By the time I made my way over to meet Sunwink's co-founder Eliza Timpson, the weird mix of foods and drinks I had sampled throughout the day was starting to not sit well with me. (Part of my job is going from booth to booth, sampling all the new foods and drinks that will be coming to stores. It sounds fun, but inevitably reaches a point when it becomes, well, not.)

Timpson started telling me about the Detox Ginger tonic, made with three powerhouse bitter herbs that are good for digestion: ginger, burdock root, and dandelion root. "The two most prebiotic-rich herbs are burdock root and and dandelion root," she told me. Besides these ingredients, it also has acacia fiber, which Timpson says is another prebiotic and has long been used in Eastern cultures to support a healthy digestive tract.

What makes all of Sunwink's beverages unique is that each bottle contains medicinal amounts of the herbs inside; four times as much as if you were to brew them as a tea. So they really are meant to be used functionally, serving a purpose. With Detox Ginger, that purpose is reducing bloat and calming a queasy stomach. Definitely sounded good to me. I took a swig.

Sometimes ginger-based drinks are too "gingery" for me, but the carbonated drink's peppery ginger was balanced out by a touch of sweetness (from cinnamon, lemon juice, and a touch of maple syrup). It was so cool and refreshing, I was immediately a fan. I asked Timpson for a few bottles to save for later, knowing I still had two more days of booth hopping and taste-testing ahead of me. That herbal tonic became my lifesaver that weekend—and many times since.

Now, my roll of Tums has 100 percent been replaced by this herbal tonic. It's made me feel less bloated when I've been traveling, after Thanksgiving when I ate way too much, or the morning after parties when I had one too many glasses of wine. "Detox Ginger is formulated as a tonic with herbs that can be consumed on a daily basis," Sunwink's other co-founder Jordan Schenck tells me, emphasizing that it can be safety consumed on the reg and not just "when you need it." She also tells me some people drink it with or after their meals to help stimulate digestion, similar to the way some people are in the habit of having a cup of tea after eating.

There you have it: my not-so secret solution for bloating woes. Tried, tested, and health coach-approved.

Watch the video below for a registered dietitian's tips on eating for gut health:

Here are some at-home bloating remedies to try. Plus, three surprising causes of bloating.

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