I would estimate that 9/10 of the people I talk to in regards to nutrition and training have major issues with digestion without even knowing it. I think the most common symptom I come across when talking to people about their digestive system is feeling bloated after eating a meal. Many people have accepted this as part of daily life however this is not a natural response after eating a meal. If tis sounds like you it will probably mean that there is an issue in your digestive system. Below i have put the most common red flags i hear which indicate that you have some issues with your digestive system:
- Bloating after meals
- Acid reflux
A large part of my initial questionnaire i give to new clients who want to start training with me is to do with digestive health. This is because its a major factor on whether you can loose weight or whether you can build muscle. The simplest way to explain it to people is that if your digestive system is working at 50% efficiency then you will only be able to absorb 50% of the food you are eating. This means that you can be eating the the perfect amount of calories/ macros on a day to day basis and still not make any progress at all because you’re not utilising everything that you are eating.
A poor digestive system also has the knock on effect of causing inflammation across your whole body. When your body is inflamed your body will release more cortisol – the anti-inflammatory hormone. High cortisol levels block the action of insulin and you become more insulin resistant when your body is inflamed. This leads to weight gain around the midsection as well as disrupted sleep patterns etc. Whether you’re looking to loose body fat or gain muscle you want to keep your day to day cortisol levels down.
So whats the best plan of action to improving your digestive system and therefore decreasing inflammation across your body?
1. Remove foods that don’t work well for your body
Pay attention to your body. If you often feel bloated or get “gassy” after eating certain foods then the chances are you are intolerant to them. These foods will be different from person to person. The common culprits are:
- Dairy products, including milk, cheese and yoghurt
- Sweet potato skin
- Eggs, particularly egg white
- Flavour enhancers such as MSG (monosodium glutamate)
2. Eat more nutrient dense foods
- Have plenty of health proteins and fats with each meal
- Aim to have two portions of greens with each meal
- Stay away from simple sugars
I have put the three key supplements i use with all my clients in order to help improve digestion
- Digestive enzymes to help you break down your food
- Probiotic to help to replace the good bacteria of your gut
- Glutamine to help you to repair the cell wall of your stomach
If you have any questions about how you can personally improve your digestive health or if you would like to know where I would recommend getting each supplement from then please contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
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