Today i’ve decided to write about something super important that people generally overlook in the world of bodybuilding, how to improve your gut health. We tend to obsess about the exercises we perform in the gym, the foods we eat and what supplements to take. Far too often I find people neglect their digestive health. Many people I speak to in the gym don’t even consider digestive health or know how to improve it.
It makes little sense to eat masses of high quality protein, when your body is struggling to absorb the food you eat. Not only is digestive health the key to properly utilising all the supplements and protein you eat but its super important for overall health. Many people are unaware that the gut is hugely responsible for correct immune function and well-being!
I’ve started to pay a lot more attention to my overall health, especially digestive health. People tend to ignore the common symptoms of heartburn/bloating/flatulence. These things aren’t meant to be happening, we overlook them believing it’s a normal or even a sacrifice for making the all-important gains. I started listening to my body. Whenever I experienced the symptoms mentioned above, I noted the foods that triggered it. That’s helped me find what was keeping my digestive system out of whack and make the right changes.
As a result - I’ve cut back on fizzy drinks, onions, gluten, red meat and dairy. That’s stopped me feeling bloated and uncomfortable, helped me to feel more energised in the gym and even improved my mood. The changes take time but they’re extremely worth-while. Some other tips would be to take glutamine 2-3 times a day. Glutamine is an essential amino acid necessary for the growth and repair of the intestinal lining. I’ve also been adding probiotics to my diet plan - I would advise people to try different brands and slowly build up the amount they take to avoid side-effects. Although probiotics help gut health in the long term, they can cause more bloating/gas when using excessive amounts. Like most processes, the body must adjust.
I would also advice drinking lemon juice in warm water - do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This will aid both digestive health and help liver function. A surprisingly obvious tip is to eat food slowly, and make sure to eat smaller meals (more frequently). My final recommendation is eating kefir and sauerkraut, again build up the amount you eat to avoid any potential stomach upsets.
Remember to listen to your body and keep your digestive health in track, your body will thank you!
By Elliot Wise
on behalf of Bodybuilding Warehouse