For as long as I can remember I have suffered with my gut… way before it was trendy to go gluten-free (I am gluten free, for the record). I never knew exactly why I had “tummy issues’ up until recently – well actually, I still don’t exactly know. I feel a million times better for cutting out foods that I am intolerant too, but I still don’t feel like my tummy is 100%, and rely heavily on a shot of magic juice every morning – aka Symprove!
Everyone needs a healthy gut – it’s a lot more important than you probably think… but anyone doing a lot of exercise or sport (you can totally call yourself an athlete!), it’s even more important for you!
When we exercise we are putting our bodies under a lot of stress, especially people like myself that choose to prolong this stress with endurance events that last forever and need a lot of long training sessions. Stress has a direct affect on our immune system – no need to say how important our immune system is! Obviously, we need it to be working properly to keep our health optimum, allowing us to train and perform to our absolute best… or else what’s the point of all the training!?
When we start a training session or a race, all of our oxygen and blood is going towards out heart and muscles to support the exercise… away from our gut. That’s great, but it means that without the normal amount of oxygen and blood heading to our gut, it is unable to remove toxins efficiently, it causes inflammation and it again, weakens our poor immune system!
Obviously this isn’t going to stop us exercising (we all know exercising is actually very good for our whole body, and therefore our gut too), but we should definitely be thinking about giving our gut some extra support to deal with this stress.
As athletes we also have a higher need for nutrients to help aid our recovery… if our gut isn’t working properly, affecting our digestion, it’s going to decrease the bioavailability and absorption of all the good stuff we’re eating!