Does your stomach hurt after drinking water? If yes, you might feel confused as water is supposed to make you feel better. Your stomach lining can be irritated due to a number of reasons.

We have below a detailed look into different situations, medical conditions, as well as possible contaminants that may be responsible for your pain when drinking water. Let’s get to the bottom of the reasons why your stomach hurt!

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Everyday Situations when Your Stomach Hurts After Drinking Water

You might have noticed that you are experiencing stomach pains after drinking water. But is this pain more common during a specific part of the day? Does it matter whether you drink hot or cold water? The following are some commonly experienced situations where your stomach could hurt after drinking water.

Stomach Ache After Drinking Water in the Morning

If you’re drinking a lot of water in the morning, there is a chance that you might be doing so on an empty stomach. In this case, you might experience some nausea and stomach pain. This experiencing pain might be because of low energy in your body. What your body is seeking for is food. This is precisely why drinking juice or soda might feel okay due to their sugar content, but drinking plain water can cause stomach pain.

Stomach Ache After Drinking Cold Water

During summer, a tall glass of chilled water might seem like a great idea. However, experts usually recommend that you switch to warm water instead. This advice is especially true if you are drinking water after a workout.

Since you generate a lot of body heat when you exercise, drinking chilled water immediately after might shock your digestive tract. Coldwater will also require your body to warm it up before any absorption can take place. This shock can cause your stomach to hurt.

Stomach Ache After Drinking Water Too Fast

When you reach for a bottle of water to quench your thirst, there is a chance you are overestimating how much water you should drink. As such, you might find yourself in fluid overload. Water is incredibly essential for all our body’s processes; however, too much water can lower the sodium level in your body. This condition is called hyponatremia and is categorized by nausea, vomiting, weakness, and stomach cramps.

Medical Reasons for Why your Stomach Hurts When/After Drinking Water

If none of the above situations seem to explain your stomach pain, then perhaps the problem can be more serious. The following are some medical reasons why you could be experiencing discomfort when you drink water:

Stomach Ulcers

Stomach ulcers can be caused due to long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs, stressful lifestyles, and so on. When you drink water, it can create acidity in your stomach. This acidity irritates the ulcer-causing pain and a burning sensation. If this seems to be a constant problem, then you need to take medication to get rid of the ulcers.


Inflammation is a common problem that can be brought about by a number of conditions. From a regular stomach bug to more severe issues like Crohn’s disease, drinking water can aggravate the inflammation. Especially drinking hot water might cause you to feel a burning pain. Depending on how sensitive your digestive system is, you might experience stomach pain even with cold water.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is more commonly known as acid reflux or indigestion. As a result of this condition, the lower end of your esophagus opens up more than it is supposed to. Due to this, your stomach acid rises higher than usual.

Since this part of your esophagus is not protected against high acidity, it can cause a burning sensation. Drinking water during this condition can not only intensify the pain but also increase the acidity in your stomach, worsening the problem.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a fairly common condition. It is characterized by inflammation in your stomach and intestines. Drinking water when you suffer from IBS can cause an upset stomach along with some heartburn. It can, however, be managed by leading a healthier lifestyle i.e., proper diet and exercise.

Water Quality and Stomach Ache

Drinking safe and clean water is essential to remaining healthy. However, the water in our taps usually comes from municipality distribution. There can be many impurities that are missed during the initial water treatment, or the water can pick up unwanted contaminants due to unmaintained and old water pipes.

The following can be some water quality-related issues that are causing your stomach ache:

Lead Poisoning

The most common cause of lead poisoning is the use of old water pipes. Galvanized steel pipes were used in the decades-spanning 1930s to 1960s. However, these days we have made a switch to copper pipes. Galvanized steel pipes were prone to corrosion and could be responsible for adding lead into your drinking water.

Some old buildings still haven’t replaced these pipes. Lead poisoning can cause nausea, cramps, and weakness. You might want to check your water quality and pipes to see if this is causing your stomach pain.

Arsenic or Other Contamination

Arsenic in groundwater is a huge issue in many countries, such as Bangladesh. Arsenic poisoning can be linked with acute vomiting, abdominal pain, and watery diarrhea. Similarly, contaminants such as mercury, copper, manganese, etc. in your drinking water can also cause an upset stomach. This is why you need to perform regular tests on your drinking water quality.

Microbial Growths

Microbial growth contamination is especially a concern if the source of water is groundwater. These unwanted pathogens can seep into your well water and cause a wide variety of infections. It is thus always a good idea to make sure your water is adequately boiled or filtered before consuming it.

Allergic Reactions

Some municipalities might treat your water supply with chemical filtration before it reaches your taps. These chemicals can include chlorine and chloramines and are added to prevent any microbial growth. Similarly, fluoride is also added in some places as it can help reduce cavities. However, in higher amounts, these can induce an allergic reaction for some people and cause stomach irritation.

How to Relieve Stomach Pain Caused by Drinking Water?

Generally, we combat a burning sensation with water. But what can we do when the water itself seems to be a problem? Here are a couple of things that you can try:

  • Try to drink warm water as it is easier to absorb.
  • Consult a doctor if any of the medical reasons ring true.
  • Adopt a healthier diet as overly processed or spiced foods can also irritate your stomach lining.
  • Test your water supply using test kits annually to check for any contamination.
  • Check your water pipes and make sure they are well-maintained without any leakage.

In Summary

Our bodies function due to many delicately balanced systems. An impact on any one of the factors could cause us to feel pain. Similarly, there are a variety of reasons that your stomach pain could be induced by drinking water.

It could be medical, water contamination, or merely indigestion due to common everyday situations. The good news is that these can be easily tackled, so you don’t have to worry.

While we read about the problem of stomach hurt after drinking water, there are also some other common issues like dry mouth after drinking water. We have covered this issue in our next article on why does my mouth feel dry after drinking water.

(Last Updated on June 8, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Nina Howell is a Rewenable Energy researcher and consultant based out of Houston, Texas Area. She earned her Master's Degree in Energy and Earth Resources from Austin Jackson School of Geosciences in 2010, and a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 2008. Nina has been working in the energy sector since 2011. She worked as an Energy Supply Analyst from 2011 to 2017 in Bounce Energy and then as a Research and Energy Consultant at GE Renewable Energy from March 2017 to February 2020 . Nina is a mom of 2 beautiful children who are joy to her life. She strongly believes in eco-friendly living and is vocal about renewable energy, environmental issues, water crisis, and sustainable living.