Digestion for Physique Athletes
Digestion in my opinion is something that physique athletes don’t consider as important as it truly is. You can have the perfect diet plan but if your digestive system isn’t processing the food properly your attempts at changing your physique may prove to be futile. Many many physique athletes suffer from digestive ailments ranging from GERD(acid reflux), bloating, constipation, etc the list goes on and on. I myself have suffered greatly with both GERD, BLOATING and even some other symptoms. I also notice the better my digestion is the better I look and most importantly the quicker my body responds to dietary changes. Now that ive fixed my digestive ailments I enjoy life more and am a better bodybuilder.
- Too much fiber- many of the typical bodybuilding foods ( sometimes referred to as “bro foods”) are just more fibrous than foods the vast majority of people consume.
- Clean food is generally more voluminous than dirty food- for example 1000 calories from a burger ill take up much less physical mass than 1000 calories from chicken and a sweet potato. That large size of food can create challenges for your digestive system
- Too much protein- This can often lead to constipation and flatulence.
- Too much dietary fat in once sitting- Being that fat slows down the digestion of all food if you over consume your stomach may have trouble feeling empty enough to eat your next meal when the time comes.
- Too much grease or acidity in foods- This can often cause or irritate Acid Reflux conditions.
- Too much food in general- If its more than your digestive system can handle this can also cause a good deal of bloating and constipation.
- Lack of good bacteria in the GUT- This can also make it difficult for your digestive system to break down food.
- Lack of a substantial amount of acid- Just like a too much acid causes reflex too little acid can prevent your body from properly digesting food.
- Too little fiber- It is generally recommended to consume roughly 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories in your diet.
- Too much diet soda or chewing gum- This can cause you to swallow air resulting in lots of uncomfortable burping.
- Drink too much or too little water at the wrong times- This can dilute the gastric juices thus hindering digestion and it can also make it difficult to push food through. Lack of water combined with a high fiber diet can be comparable to pouring cement in your colon.
My Recommendations for optimal digestion
- Water- first and foremost I recommend you drink at absolute minimum 1 gallon of water per day and even this is probably not near adequate for the bigger guys who are pounding food. However I highly recommend not drinking 20 minutes before eating and not 30 minutes after. Although water helps flush everything out doing so at this time can dilute the gastric juices making your digestive system struggle to digest.
- PROBIOTICS- If you find the right product these can truly be a godsend. I personally take “Ultimate Flora” by renew life and it has changed my life. That’s how much I was suffering with Gastrointestinal problems. This product is the real deal. If our stomachs don’t have enough good bacteria you can bet your last dollar that you will develop stomach issues. Following a course of antibiotics I think its even more imperative to be cognizant of replenishing your good gut bacteria via probiotics. Out of all the products to potentially cheap out on this is not one of them.
- FIBER- Take a fiber supplement, keep the pipes clean so to speak. If you let food ferment in your gut and intestines I can promise you sooner or later both your digestion and nutrient absorption will be in the gutter. I personally am a huge huge fan of species fiberlyze. The stuff works like a charm. However even a sugar free Metamucil works great. Now with fiber you need to start slow because you will most likely experience bloating for the first week or two, but once its fully working and your system is used to it you will most likely be a lot less bloated than ever before.
- If a certain food irritates you find an acceptable substitute- Even though im not an If It Fits Your Macros type coach I do believe in there concepts when speaking about clean food. Although this is a topic for a whole different article id like to clarify that certain clean foods work better for some than others. For example I might look great eating white rice all day but John Doe might look great eating yams all day. My point being is if eating something say like avocado is killing your stomach try replacing those calories with something like macadamia nut oil or almond butter. The repercussions of a messed up digestion on your physique are worse then if you switch food sources…..trust me.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- this works great for people who need to get there stomach acid production increased to help breakdown food. This also helps some people with GERD. However I do need to clarify here that although yes I do agree with the notion that most medications for gerd do hinder nutrient absorption to some degree there are some cases that warrant it. Sometimes 2-3 weeks of medicating then tapering off and your fine. Obviously this isn’t ideal long term, but GERD( acid reflux) is not something you want to leave untreated as it can lead to extreme discomfort or even worse esophageal cancer. Try to use minimal to no meds if possible but don’t leave untreated just for the sake of avoid meds.
Team Provo is a comprehensive contest prep/diet coaching service specializing in mens and womens bodybuilding, mens physique, womens figure, womens bikini and womens physique athletes that addresses all offseason and precontest nutrition needs. The results of coach Phil’s hands on, attentive to detail approach speak for themselves. Phil has helped turn amateur athletes into professional in the ifbb, dfac, and anbf To view testimonials, clients pics and more visit www.teamprovo.com. To contact coach phil please direct all inquires to firstname.lastname@example.org