In today’s increasingly impatient society, we as the consumers are constantly seeking quicker products and methods to achieve faster results than we are currently used to dealing with. We want quality & convenience, and we want results now. To meet this demand and earn the higher amounts of money associated with speed, quality, and convenience combined, inventors and product designers are constantly seeking ways to improve older, slower, existing products and methods. Consumers definitely like new and improved technology, but most importantly, consumers love their personal and family’s health. There will always be new upgraded computers, phones, and televisions, but every individual only has one physical body. Because we love convenience and speed, we absolutely hate not feeling well!! As the now famous saying goes, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!!” Because of that demand, medicine and drug companies are constantly seeking to improve the supplements and drugs that consumers use to take care of all health related issues. Since many health issues and problems stem from troubles with digestion, many medications and over-the-counter drugs are now digestive system related.

There are two main digestive issues that can possibly occur after a food challenge, and they can each occur after both quantity and spicy challenges. The first problem you may experience is getting an upset stomach, which can be very discomforting. Upset stomachs are much more frequent after very spicy challenges rather than after quantity challenges. As we say throughout this site though, All Stomachs Were Not Created Equally. You may never experience any indigestion after overeating, and you may not even experience much stomach discomfort after eating extra spicy foods. On the other hand, you may have a very weak stomach that starts rumbling after eating just a few bites of regular spicy food. You may also have a stomach that has issues processing certain foods such as dairy products. Whatever the case is, there is a medication or an over-the-counter drug that will give you faster relief than letting your stomach work things out on its own. The other issue that you may experience is constipation, and it may be a while until your next serious bowel movement. Constipation is most common after really cheesy challenges (pizza) along with giant challenges loaded with fiberless red meat. Lucky for you though, there is medicine and supplements that help relieve this issue too.

We will first discuss the most common and effective over-the-counter pharmaceuticals for treating an upset stomach. Indigestion can be very painful and will ruin your evening if you let it. Stomach discomfort is most common after spicy challenges, and definitely probable after the extremely spicy food challenges involving Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers, Carolina Reaper peppers, and 100% pure capsaicin extract. Most people experience an upset stomach after consuming Ghost peppers too. How your stomach deals with peppers less spicy than those (jalapenos and habaneros), really just depends on your personal spice tolerance. For more about how to recover after spicy challenges, be sure you have read and understand our Recovery From Spicy Food Challenges article. You might experience discomfort after a quantity challenge too, so you may want to also read our Recovery From Quantity Food Challenges article. If you get an upset stomach after your meal, these are common effective medicinal drugs that will help quickly relieve minor cramping and discomfort:

Effective Over-The-Counter Drugs For Minor Indigestion Relief

1. Pepto-Bismol (Liquid) – Pepto-Bismol now makes swallowable caplets and chewable tablets, but they are most known for their thick pink digestion relief liquid. This is the most commonly preferred upset stomach relief drug, and it has worked well in the past for me too. It can be taken after both quantity and spicy challenges. It’s active ingredient is Bismuth Subsalicylate which also treats nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea, in addition to indigestion and upset stomach relief. Pepto-Bismol coats the lining of your stomach and reduces irritation.

2. Alka-Seltzer (Tablets) – Alka-Seltzer effervescent tablets dissolve in water and help relieve minor stomach aches, pains, inflammation, indigestion, and heartburn. The product neutralizes excess stomach acid, and it’s main goal is to help relieve heartburn and acid indigestion. If you are not experiencing significant heartburn, but are definitely experiencing indigestion, you may be better off using Pepto-Bismol. If you are experiencing slight stomach discomfort but really painful heartburn, you may be better off choosing Alka-Seltzer or even Tums.

3. Tums (Chewables) – Many people mistake Tums for being an upset stomach relief medicine, when in reality it is dedicated to fighting off heartburn. Unfortunately, I used to be part of that group, and had to find out the hard way. If you are suffering from minor acid indigestion and heartburn, Tums can definitely help relieve that painful discomfort. If you mostly need upset stomach relief though, you are better off picking Pepto-Bismol or Maalox.

4. Maalox (Liquid) – Maalox Total Relief liquid is used to treat an upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, and gas due to overindulgence in food. It can also be used to treat diarrhea. Like Pepto-Bismol, Maalox also uses Bismuth Subsalicylate as its active ingredient. Depending on your area and what is available, you may choose Pepto or Maalox. They will achieve similar results in minor cases. It is really just up to your own personal preference.

Notice that we stress MINOR in all of the cases above. You cannot expect one dose of Pepto-Bismol to relieve your stomach filled with 12 wings covered in Carolina Reaper pepper sauce. One dose is not going to relieve your pain after really spicy challenges, and you will need multiple doses. Follow the directions on the label to make sure you use the product safely and effectively, and also of course follow the other recommendations in our Recovery From Spicy Food Challenges article. After large quantity challenges, the above four products can be helpful to relieve the discomforts they were intended for. Pepto-Bismol and Maalox are geared more towards upset stomach relief along with other digestion related issues. Alka-Seltzer and Tums are geared more towards heartburn and acid indigestion. Hopefully the descriptions help you choose which product is right for your body, depending on your preference and what you need relief for. Please note that this article specifically includes well known name-brands. You are welcome to use similar off-brand products if they are available and cheaper.

The other digestive ailment you may experience after a food challenge is constipation. Constipation occurs when bowel movements become difficult or less frequent. The normal length of time between bowel movements ranges widely from person to person. Going longer than three days without a bowel movement is too long. After 3 full days, the stool or feces become harder and more difficult to pass. The chances of getting constipated can be significantly reduced by drinking plenty of water and also consuming plenty of dietary fiber after your meal. Constipation can still occur though depending on both your body and the food you consumed. Luckily, there are multiple stool softener and laxative supplements that you can choose from to help relieve constipation. In addition to relieving constipation, these products can also help you eliminate the food faster in general. After consuming a large food challenge meal, it will not be very comfortable to carry all that food and waste inside your body for multiple days while the extra dietary fiber and water you are consuming help to slowly work it through your system. If you want relief fast and you want that food out quickly, these products will fix that:

Effective Over-The-Counter Drugs For Constipation Relief

1. Stool Softeners (Capsules) – The most common brand names for stool softeners are Dulcolax, Phillips, and Colace. Stool softeners work by increasing the amount of water the stool absorbs in the gut, making the stool softer and easier to pass. You may choose these for gentle relief after consuming really meaty challenges that you know won’t pass through your body easily. Take these before you go to sleep and let them work overnight.

2. Stimulant Laxatives (Tablets) – The most common brand names for stimulant laxative tablets are Ex-Lax and Dulcolax. Stimulant laxatives stimulate and increase the wave of contractions that pass along the colon. This propels the stool along so that it passes more quickly. These are also great for taking right before bedtime.

3. Osmotic Laxatives (Powder) – The most common brand name for osmotic laxative powder is MiraLAX. Osmotic laxatives work by retaining fluid in the large bowel by osmosis (so less fluid is absorbed into the bloodstream from the large bowel). This hydrates and softens the stool as it goes through. The powder is usually tasteless.

4. Colon Cleanse (Powder or Capsules) – This fourth option is my personal favorite, which can be bought as a powder or as capsules filled with the powder. The pills are much more convenient and don’t taste nearly as bad as drinking the powder mixed with water. Colon cleanse supplements can be used to detoxify your colon, but more importantly can relieve constipation and help move the waste from your challenge meal through your body faster. You are basically giving your body straight insoluble dietary fiber that quickly acts and moves the stools through your rectum and colon. They can also help in other ways. Click here for a link to the product I use. Colon cleanse is a psyllium supplement, and most similar products contain senna which is a natural plant laxative.

These four products are are all similar in purpose, and mostly depend on your own personal preference. Liquids typically work and get absorbed faster than capsules do, but the end results are pretty similar. You may also choose to use off-brand products if they are available. If necessary, it may be smart to experiment with different options until you find which type you prefer. All of the drugs and supplements listed above can typically be found readily available in the pharmacy area of most stores. If you know you will have an upset stomach after your challenge, it would be smart to bring your “drug of choice” with you so that the relief is readily available. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what you can take to help relieve your body from both of the digestive ailments that you may experience after attempting a food challenge. Combining either of these two sets of products along with all the tips throughout this After The Challenge section will allow you to find that relief you are seeking much quicker than you would if you just let your body take care of everything itself.

Thanks for reading “Optional Medicinal Drugs That Help Recovery” and using!!

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