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From the Desk of Dr. Len

Does Your Workout Leave You Bloated

Dr. Len Lopez - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

eating on the go, eating on the run,The bloated tummy is probably happening because you started your workout with food still in your tummy, in your digestive system.


A common mistake so many people make before they workout is they Eat the Wrong Food or Snack before their workout, in hopes of getting some extra energy or protein.


To begin with, when you do a Hard, Intense Workout, You Turn Off your Resting Digestive System (parasympathetic system) and turn on your Fight of Flight Mode (sympathetic system).


This essentially stops the digestive process….it doesn’t matter if you have food (undigested) in your tummy.


Think of it like turning your washing machine off during a normal cycle, the clothes Aren’t Getting cleaned, they just sit there in dirty water.


That undigested food sitting in your tummy begins to ferment, putrefy and rot in your tummy - thus the bloated, gassy feeling that can eventually lead to an overgrowth of the ‘bad’ bacteria!


But if you perform an Easy Aerobic Workout - Your Resting Digestive System, doesn’t shut-down.  So, it really doesn’t matter too much, as to what you eat before an Easy, Aerobic Workout.  Your digestive system can probably still produce those necessary digestive juices (enzymes and hydrochloric acid) needed to breakdown your food.  Thus you don’t leave a lot of undigested food to rot in your tummy


Foods Digest at Different Rates


What did you Eat Before Your Workout and How Did You Eat it!  Keep in mind it takes 2-3 hours for your digestive system to process fats and proteins.


Fruits take about 30 minutes


Veggies could take up to an hour to get out of your tummy.


Protein shakes, bars, peanut butter, cheese, etc take a couple of hours to clear your tummy, so make sure you give your body enough time to digest and get that food out of your digestive system before you have a good, hard workout.  Otherwise your dietary choices could be why you feel bloated after a meal.


Eating on the Go versus Sit, Eat and Relaxeating on the run, eating on the go, dr len lopez


Let’s not forget that when you eat or snack on the run, on the go, in a hurry – more than likely you are probably still in your Fight or Flight mode (sympathetic system).  This doesn’t allow your body to turn on your digestive system and produce those all important digestive juices needed to breakdown your meal.  This is especially important when eating packaged, pre-prepared food void of any digestive enzymes.  This is when you more than likely need some digestive enzymes.


Lastly, if you get bloated and gassy shortly after a protein-rich meal, there is a good chance you don’t produce enough hydrochloric acid, which is needed for protein breakdown.  The problem isn't too much acid - it's the opposite.  Remember you need hydrochloric acid to digest protein.


More can be found on what to eat and when, in “The 10 Biggest Workout Mistakes.”  Don’t forget to use our online health questionnaire to see if Your Digestive System Needs Help.


10 biggest workout mistakes, common fitness mistakes, dr len lopez








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