Gut Health: Why It’s Important in Bodybuilding and How to Optimize It

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Gut health plays an essential role in bodybuilding. 

Many want to gain muscle mass and get stronger, but it takes a lot of work, and not just work in the gym. You can’t build muscle effectively if you don’t have the proper nutrition or training program. One critical aspect to consider when building muscle mass is gut health.

Research has found that chronic diseases like autoimmune disorders and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are linked with poor gut health (1). A healthy gut microbiome is vital for your overall health and wellness, so this shouldn’t be taken lightly by bodybuilders looking for the best results possible from their hard work in the gym.

What Is Gut Health and Why Is It Important in Bodybuilding? 

Gut health is a term thrown around, but what does it mean? Gut health refers to the condition of your digestive system. The gut microbiota is the collection of microbes that live inside your intestines, where they help you digest your meals, absorb nutrients, and keep harmful bacteria at bay.

The importance of gut health for bodybuilders can’t be overstated. It has been shown that gut flora is essential in gaining muscle mass, losing weight, and feeling energetic throughout the day. The topic was even discussed in an episode of the Generation Iron Podcast, Victor Martinez discusses the do’s and don’ts for gut health and how it can affect your bodybuilding career and lifestyle.

gut health in bodybuilding

What Leads to Poor Gut Health? 

Poor lifestyle choices, such as insufficient sleep, abuse of alcohol, and eating unhealthy foods, leads to gut health issues (2). Moreover, a lack of physical activity can also alter your gut bacteria (3). 

Chronic diseases like autoimmune disorders and IBS are linked with poor gut health. These chronic diseases can negatively impact your ability to gain muscle and lose body fat, which is why it’s so crucial that you know how to fix your gut health if you have one of these conditions. 

In addition, your gut health is essential in your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and determines how it reacts to different foods and substances. For example, poor gut health will increase the likelihood that the foods you eat will be processed into fat by your body. 

How to Fix Your Gut Health 

To fix your gut health, you want to examine your diet, sleep, and exercise regimen closely. In addition, probiotics, prebiotics (fiber), and anti-inflammatory foods are great for your gut health. 

  • Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. They help with digestion and the immune system, and they’re present in foods like yogurt, kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut.
  • Prebiotics: Prebiotics are the foods your probiotics eat that mainly consist of fiber. Fiber is found in whole grains, legumes (beans), fruits, and vegetables; it helps promote regularity by bulking up the fecal matter so it passes through your system better.
  • Anti-inflammatory foods: These include beans and salmon or other fatty fish such as mackerel or sardines; nuts like almonds; seeds such as pumpkin; cabbage family vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower; berries like blueberries or strawberries; and turmeric root.

Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals

gut health and bodybuilding

Eating smaller meals more frequently may help you digest food better and feel full for longer. It also contributes to overall health, keeping your metabolism high and your body burning fat. Try eating three or four small meals daily instead of two big ones.

Sleep

Sleep is one of the most underrated yet important things to focus on when trying to improve your gut health because it’s when our bodies tend to recover from exercise and other stressors. 

Stay Hydrated

To help keep bacteria levels balanced in your system, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day. 

Reduce Stress

Stress also leads to poor gut health. So make sure you’re eating healthy, getting plenty of exercise, getting quality sleep, and doing relaxing activities to reduce stress levels. Studies show that stress can alter your gut bacteria, causing you to release metabolites, toxins, and neurohormones that can change your eating habits (4). 

Supplements 

Of course, there’s only so much you can do through diet and lifestyle changes to improve your gut health. And it can be tough always to consume the right foods needed for a healthy gut. That’s why it’s always beneficial to include a few different quality supplements for optimal gut health. A premium supplement taken daily will ensure that your gut stays healthy, and they are also convenient because we know life happens and no one has a perfect diet. 

Sure, you can take your protein powders and creatine supplements to help put on muscle mass, but we mean that you should look into taking supplements designed specifically for your gut health.

One gut health supplement we recommend is Inno Supps Complete Gut Health Stack. It’s a three-step approach that attacks every angle of a bad gut. The Complete Gut Health Stack comprises Inno Cleanse (removes toxic waste), Inno Gut Restore (renews gut health, relieves stomach discomfort), and Inno Gut Protects (repairs gut lining, supports long-term digestive health). Together, this stack will:

  • Substantially improve digestion
  • Prevent bloating and constipation
  • Aid weight loss
  • Increase energy levels
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Improve your mood

This three-step approach arms you with EVERYTHING you need to transform your gut and overall health. Flush out toxic waste, flood your system with pre and probiotics, PLUS strengthen and repair the gut lining with postbiotics.

The Inno Supps Complete Gut Health Stack will flush out toxic waste and flood your system with probiotics and prebiotics. Moreover, it will strengthen and repair your gut lining with postbiotics. This gut health supplement stack is imperative for bodybuilders since it will help you reach your fitness goals and protect you from the damaging effects of poor gut health, such as difficulty building muscle and losing weight. 

Final Word

If you want to be at the top of your game in bodybuilding, it’s essential to consider the state of your gut health. Poor gut health can negatively impact every aspect of your life, including your ability to gain muscle. Luckily, there are some easy steps that you can take to improve your gut health and make sure that it stays in tip-top shape. This includes foods containing probiotics and prebiotics, such as fruits and vegetables, and yogurt. In addition, taking the right supplement will keep your gut health functioning at peak performance.


 References 

  1. Bull, M. J., & Plummer, N. T. (2014). Part 1: The Human Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 13(6), 17–22.
  2. Conlon, M. A., & Bird, A. R. (2014). The impact of diet and lifestyle on gut microbiota and human health. Nutrients, 7(1), 17–44. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7010017
  3. Monda, V., Villano, I., Messina, A., Valenzano, A., Esposito, T., Moscatelli, F., Viggiano, A., Cibelli, G., Chieffi, S., Monda, M., & Messina, G. (2017). Exercise Modifies the Gut Microbiota with Positive Health Effects. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2017, 3831972. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3831972
  4. Madison, A., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2019). Stress, depression, diet, and the gut microbiota: human-bacteria interactions at the core of psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition. Current opinion in behavioral sciences, 28, 105–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.01.011
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.