Best Alcoholic Drink for IBS – 10 Ideas!

Published on: 06/07/2023

Looking for the best alcoholic drink for IBS? If you answered yes, you are in the right place. This article aims to give you ideas on the best alcoholic drinks to choose to reduce the chances of triggering your gut symptoms!

UNDERSTANDING IBS AND ALCOHOL

Whilst the evidence on alcohol and IBS is limited, most people do report that alcohol does trigger their gut symptoms with the quantity and type of beverage chosen making a difference to whether people developed gut symptoms. Click here to read my previous blog post exploring the topic of IBS and alcohol in more detail. 

Low FODMAP options for people with IBS

What are FODMAPs? 

FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates or sugars which are fermented in our gut by our resident bacteria. 

What is their connection to IBS symptoms?

When the bacteria in our gut ferment these carbohydrates/sugars they produce gas which contributes to abdominal discomfort/ pain, bloating, and distension. Additionally, the presence of these undigested sugars in our gut causes water to move into the gut which can lead to urgency and loose stools. 

The best alcoholic drinks for ibs

The following 10 drink ideas are all low FODMAP so are less likely to contribute to gut symptoms.

  1. Gin and Tonic
glass of gin and tonic, a low fodmap alcohol drink
a glass of white wine, a low fodmap alcohol option

2. White wine

3. Red wine*

*Limit to 1 glass

a glass of red wine, a low fodmap alcohol option
two glasses of sparkling wine like prosecco or champagne

4. Sparkling wine….

Did anyone say Prosecco?

5. Lager

a person pouring beer into a glass
vodka with lime and soda water

6. Vodka, lime and soda water

7. Vodka and lemonade

vodka with lemonade
shot glasses of tequila

8. Tequila

9. Whiskey on the rocks

glass of whiskey
glass of whiskey with cola

10. Whiskey and cola

Moderation and Other Considerations 

Whilst opting for a low FODMAP alcoholic drink may reduce the likelihood of developing gut symptoms, it is also important to take other factors into consideration.

Drinking in moderation

A small study found that drinking 4 or more alcohol-containing drinks worsened symptoms of diarrhoea, abdominal pain, gas, nausea and indigestion. Hence when drinking be mindful of the quantity of drinks you have. Limiting to 1-2 drinks will reduce the chances of gut symptoms. 

Mixers

Some mixers; mainly diet versions, may contain high FODMAP sweeteners such as fructose and sorbitol. Check the ingredients list on labels to ensure you choose one without these ingredients. 

Additionally be mindful that carbonated drinks or the use of carbonated mixers can contribute to gas build-up and consequently bloating and distension. 

IBS triggers vary between people therefore individual experimentation is important to identify what works for you. 

In Summary

When choosing an alcoholic drink opting for a low FODMAP option, being mindful of the choice of mixer and the quantity of alcohol consumed is important to reduce the risk of triggering IBS symptoms. Ultimately, it is important to experiment to work out your personal tolerances. 

2 Comments

  1. Terry Foster

    I suffer from I B S and the problem I have is with mixers I like vodka and gin but what to mix with them, in your list it says different mixers with these two spirits but the mixers are carbonated

    Reply
    • Daniela Galea

      Working out personal tolerance levels is key. Remember that alcohol itself is a gut irritant.

      If carbonated drinks worsen your symptoms, cordial and water could be an alternative e.g. Bottlegreen elderflower cordial, Belvoir raspeberry & lemon cordial.

      If you are not sensitive to fructose or fructans, fruit juice is another option.

      Reply

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Daniela is a dietitian passionate in helping those with gut issues. 

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