The night has finally arrived.
After a series of dates, it’s time you and your new love interest got between the sheets and enjoyed some lovely sex. However, after that meal you just ate, you feel bloated, you’ve got heartburn and one sudden movement and you’re going to release one hell of a fart.
No, tonight can not be the night.
You think back; what did you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner that has left you feeling like an airship? Well, it could be a number of things. When it comes to sex, we want to feel our sexiest – and that means we need to feel comfortable, agile and not like we’re going to let rip halfway through.
All of these can be achieved as long as you make the right options at meal times And that’s where Cosmopolitan are here to help, as they recently spoke to University of Michigan professor, and advisor to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, William Chey M.D., on which foods you should should avoid on a date and why. So, here are 20 foods and drinks you should definitely avoid on a date, and the alternatives you should probably order instead;
Avoid: Bagels. This round food for every mood is pretty much the densest bread product you can buy. According to Dr. Chey, many people have problems digesting wheat anyway, regardless of gluten allergies. And what about your filling? An inch high mountain of cream cheese is the perfect combination of fat and protein that will take your body much longer to digest than just carbs.
Instead, eat: Toast. Preferably wholemeal and go easy on the spread.
Avoid: Sausage and bacon are fatty AF. Dr. Chey says; “Greasy breakfast meats pose the greatest heartburn and GI distress” – bacon in particular.
Instead, eat: Scrambled eggs. And if you want to go one step further, just have the egg whites and make sure they’re not greasy. This will provide you with a high-quality protein meal.
Avoid: How much you typically drink, will effect the way your body can process caffeine. Also, the strength of the coffee you’re drinking. Strong coffee drinks can increase nervousness, which can set off stomach issues like diarrhoea.
Instead, drink: Tea. It has less caffeine than coffee, which will help with those butterflies.
Avoid: Steaks/Red Meats. A slab of meat could trigger gas that’s particularly foul-smelling, according to Dr. Chey; “Gas associated with red meat is more odorous because of chemicals it produces in the colon.” The reason behind this because when we overeat protein, it goes straight to the colon for fermentation where it creates some seriously nasty byproducts.
Instead, eat: Fish or chicken — they’re generally less dense and easier to digest.
Avoid: Broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Eating too many of these and you’ll end up with more gas than the Hindenburg.
Instead, eat: Salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms — they’re all a safer choice.
Avoid: While it is cabbage that gives coleslaw that delicious crunch, the ingredient is bad news when it reaches the gut, where fermentation causes gas galore. Also, the mayo-based dressing will only lead you to feeling bloated.
Instead, eat: A fresh green salad, lightly dressed with oil and vinegar. You’ll get your leaves in without experiencing the downsides.
Avoid: Fries. Despite the fact potatoes are relatively easy for the body to digest, it’s the oil they’re fried in that causes us trouble. That’s because it takes longer for fat for leave our stomachs, making you feel full and uncomfortable after eating.
Instead, eat: A baked potato — and switch to a sweet potato for the extra nutrients and fibre.
Avoid: Nachos with the works. Despite the fact the corn used to make tortilla chips is relatively harmless to our guts, opting to have your nachos fully loaded is a big no-no. Why? Because the beans contain indigestible sugars called galactans, making them major gas producers; the fatty meat in the chilli that can trigger indigestion; the sour cream and cheese will inflate anyone who’s sensitive to lactose; and guacamole and salsaare made with onions and garlic, two ingredients that also cause gas.
Instead, eat: Plain tortilla chips. Dr. Chey explains how “corn bran is not fermentable”, which means any corn fibre you can’t digest just passes through your system without creating gas in the gut.
Avoid: Burritos. Now take all those topping you had on the chips and throw them in a wheat wrap – it may taste delicious, but it will also have you date running for fresh air.
Instead, eat: Tacos, with chicken or fish. Once again, the corn shells are much easier on the stomach than the wheat, and the chicken and fish are easier meats to digest. (Also, lay off the beans and stick to the rice.)
And for drinks:
Avoid: Margaritas. Regardless of whether it’s made with margarita mix or lime juice, it’s bound to be full of added sugars, which are difficult to digest. Needless to say, the same goes for any other mix-based or sweet drink made from fruit juices.
Instead, drink: Tequila! Or wine (let’s avoid the hangovers, yeah?). This way, you’re only up against naturally occurring sugars which the stomach can handle much easier.
Avoid: As you’ve learned by now, the pizza dough will be made from wheat, which will trigger gas and bloating for several people. The cheese will also affect those who are lactose intolerant. And finally, all that grease will only sit in your stomach and make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.
Instead, eat: Pasta lightly dressed in red sauce — and no cheese. Pasta goes down much easiler than dense pizza dough, according to Dr. Chey, so you’re less likely to suffer.
Avoid: Garlic knots/bread. Garlic is an ingredient that many people don’t realise can cause gases in our stomach – not to mention the smell, especially if your partner hasn’t eaten any.
Instead, eat: Plain Italian bread. Anything that comes in your breadbasket is likely to be a better pick, just avoid the dip and favour the wholemeal.
Avoid: Heavy cream or cheese-based sauces contain lots of fat, as these take a long time to digest. And cream will obviously upset your stomach if you have a dairy sensitivity.
Instead, eat: A red sauce. Just avoid any dish that’s uber garlicky or spicy, which can trigger uncomfortable heartburn.
Date Night In:
Avoid: Gummies. “Depending on what’s living inside your gut and your body’s capacity for digestion, gummies can be a complete disaster — especially sugar-free ones,” Dr. Chey says – we all remember those infamous Amazon reviews? Most brands of gummies tend to contain fructose, which many people don’t absorb well. And the sugar-free ones are a worse choice, as they tend to be sweetened with sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that humans aren’t designed to absorb… as it is used as a laxative in it’s natural form.
Instead, eat: Unbuttered popcorn.
Avoid: Gum. Sure, you want your breath to be minty fresh for when you’re in the middle of Netflix and chill, but sugar-free gums also contain sorbitol, which your body is incapable of absorbing. What happens next is anything but sexy.
Instead, drink: If you’re after fresh breath, swill your mouth round with some mouthwash and drink a cup of mint tea.
Avoid: Pretzels. These show up on many problematic food lists, but it’s hard to say why they are such an irritable snack. Dr. Chey believes it’s something to do with the wheat in the dough. And bare in mind, date nerves can aggravate GI problems.
Instead, eat: Opt for a baked rice-,corn- or potato- based snack, especially if you’re prone to gas, as Dr. Chey says these ingredients are the easiest for your intestines to break down and absorb.
Avoid: Hummus. This dip is often viewed as a healthy alternative to ranch dressings and sour cream, because it is made from legumes and olive oil, an therefore contains protein and healthy fats. However, legumes should be avoided if you want to avoid gas and bloating.
Instead, eat: Try a Greek yogurt-based dip, like tzatziki, which are usually free of beans and legumes, and contain less lactose than other dairy-based dips.
Just a drinks date:
Avoid: Beer. Along with other carbonated alcoholic drinks, those bubbles are heading straight to your stomach, and they will manifest themselves later as either a burp, fart or bloating.
Instead, drink: Wine. Wine is always the answer… but mainly for those reasons we mentioned earlier.
Avoid: Carbonated mixers like tonic water, as they are once again full of gas.
Instead, drink: A martini or your liquor of choice on the rocks – but pace yourself!
And for afters:
Avoid: Sugar-free ice cream. once again, sugar-free dairy desserts are likely to contain artificial sweeteners (like sorbitol or manitol), which, as we now know, could leave you running to the toilet. They’ll also be a problem for those who suffer with dairy.
Instead, eat: Low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt. It will contain the same amount of lactose as the real or sugar-free stuff, but will be seldom fake stuff that only serves to inflate you.
Obviously, following this advice will not guarantee that you will sexually gratify your partner – that’s in your hands now. Maybe all that energetic activity will burn off some calories? Although, did you know that sex doesn’t actually last as long as you thought…