The gut or the gastrointestinal tract starts at the mouth and goes all the way to the anus. This includes the oesophagus, the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Each part of the gut works to break down and process food.
This is where bacteria comes in. The gut holds the microbiome, which is a mix of tiny organisms and bacteria. This lines our whole digestive system but is mostly located in the intestines and the colon. These microbes help us process food, battle inflammation, and control our immune systems.
Everyone has a different Microbiome, which explains why our bodies might react differently to a certain food, while someone else might have no reaction at all to that food. The best thing to do is listen to your body.
How does exercise impact the gut?
When we workout on a daily basis for a long period of time, it has been shown to decrease the bacteria in our gut that is likely to cause inflammation. While also increasing the variety of bacteria in our gut. Overall this helps speed up digestion, resulting in a better metabolism.
What about endurance athletes?
This is where it gets tricky, while exercise is good for your gut, it is also very common in endurance athletes to have GI tract problems. This is due to the amount of stress put on the body for an extended period of time. Your energy levels and immune system responses start to decrease, which leads to inflammation.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
If you’re looking to give your gut health a boost, probiotics and prebiotics can help with this. Both probiotics and prebiotics can be found in food and drinks but can also be taken in supplements.
Probiotics are live bacteria that help our immune systems by absorbing nutrients, regulating good and bad bacteria, boosting digestion and reducing inflammation.
Prebiotics are fiber for the probiotics and can help to increase good bacteria in your gut.
- Sea Weed