The Importance/Benefits of Gut Health to Optimize Performance & Recovery

Do you feel like you’re doing everything right but it’s taking you forever to recover? Are you still suffering after fueling up on coffee and baked goods during your group rides? Or fading after snacking on soft gels on your virtual rides? Make the most of your fuel by optimizing your gut health.

There are billions of microorganisms that reside within the intestines, which make up the gut microbiome. We want a balanced microbiome with a diverse array of microorganisms, where the beneficial gut bacteria out number the harmful. This healthy environment is able to efficiently process nutrient absorption and use.

Over time the integrity of our digestive and intestinal systems can become compromised by factors such as age, chronic stress, a poor diet, and the over-use of antibiotics or antacids. The digestive system works by breaking down food particles into their smallest form so that they can easily be absorbed by the intestinal system.

Optimal health is dependent upon proper digestion as the nutrients absorbed from our food provide our bodies with energy and nourish our cells and tissues.

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In general, athletes are generating large amounts of free radicals because of intense and continuous exercise regimes. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons which causes them to be highly chemically reactive. Oxidative stress occurs when the body is overburdened by free radicals and therefore unable to buffer them all. The result can cause damage to tissues and cells, and also increase inflammation within the body resulting in a negative impact on an athlete’s recovery time.

Luckily, antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving up some of their own electrons to form a stable molecule. Essentially athletes need more antioxidant support. It’s important for the gut microbiome to run efficiently so that the body is able to absorb and use these antioxidant nutrients more efficiently. This will improve recovery time and protect cells against damage from exercise.

Whether you’re fueling up mid-ride at the local coffee shop or having a pre-ride snack, a happy gut will quickly convert your food to support your body’s needs. With a few simple changes to your diet you’ll be pulling at the front of the pack in no time! You can consult with our Nutritionist, Allison Fontaine, so she can give you the tools you need to reset, rebuild, and repair your gut to have you feeling and performing your best!

1280 853 Allison Fontaine
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