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Sport and digestion

Sport and digestion are closely intertwined for better and for worse . The digestive system is activated and toned by physical activity, but it can also be subject to intense fluctuations and in this case you combine sport and digestive discomfort. Focus on a sometimes hazardous cohabitation!

Sport and digestion

When you engage in physical activity , whether it's running, cycling, swimming, or fitness, you contract your intestinal muscles . These contractions help your intestine absorb nutrients from your food. You therefore assimilate what you eat better¹ . This is the first benefit of sport on your intestines, it facilitates their work¹.

During your training sessions, you generally use your abs . These very important muscles support your back and your viscera. Having good abs generally allows for good transit and contributes to better evacuation of stools. Moderate physical activity and sessions focused on the abdominals can help you maintain good intestinal transit² .

Having even moderate activity helps increase the supply of oxygen to the body . This intake will help reduce stress and help reduce the digestive discomfort it can cause¹.

You will have understood, doing sport is good for digestion.

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Reduces muscle fatigue and relieves cramps

Except that, sometimes, during intense effort, everything goes wrong and sport becomes a source of digestive discomfort .

When the machine races...

When you practice sport intensively, several parameters are likely to cause digestive discomfort . For example, if you run at around 70% of your VO2 max, you should know that the blood flow in your intestines is then reduced by around 80%³. This can lead to abdominal discomfort and cramping.

Photo Stimium® Mc3 + link to the product

Reduces muscle fatigue and relieves cramps

The mechanical effects of sport can also cause digestive discomfort during your practice . The bouncing of the viscera, the shocks on the abdominal wall and the vibrations will upset your intestines and can drive you to the edge of nausea or cause cramps .

Photo Stimium® Mc3 + link to the product

Reduces muscle fatigue and relieves cramps

Other factors such as dehydration, eating food too close to exercise, overly large meals or poor chewing of food can also be responsible for inconvenience to the digestive system when you practice your favorite sport4.

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Reduces fatigue / Maintains water-electrolyte and acid-base balance / Antioxidant action

How to avoid digestive discomfort linked to sport?

However, it is possible to limit or even avoid the appearance of these manifestations by restoring an intestinal ecosystem on a daily basis that is often damaged by stress.

It is recommended to eat mindfully when practicing a regular sport or in competition. What does that mean ? You have to take your time and make sure you chew each food well. Chewing is a very important part of digestion . It allows it to be optimized. Think about it and avoid eating quickly without paying attention to what you ingest!

Watch your diet

The best way to avoid suffering from digestive discomfort during exercise or competition is to monitor your diet on a daily basis, but also at key moments of your activity .

Be proactive! Before any intense exercise, avoid foods to which you are sensitive for 24 to 48 hours and schedule your last meal approximately three hours before departure.

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Source of energy for the muscle / Improves alertness and reduces fatigue / Contributes to normal energy metabolism / Powerful antioxidant

During exercise, it is better to drink regularly and in small quantities while avoiding sodas which risk harming your intestines. If your event is short and lasts less than four hours, not eating solids before leaving is a good idea . You leave lighter. In this case, you must ensure that you eat well during the week preceding this type of session .

Photo Stimium® Rgn3-Reload + link to the product

Reduces fatigue / Maintains water-electrolyte and acid-base balance / Antioxidant action

After the effort , your objective will be to promote good recovery .

Photo Stimium® Mc3 + link to the product

Reduces muscle fatigue and relieves cramps

How to do ? Taking a recovery ration is a good idea and choose a small, easily digestible meal composed mainly of fruits, vegetables, cereal products or legumes with a little rapeseed oil5. Don’t forget to hydrate yourself well!

Photo Stimium® Rgn3-Reload + link to the product

Reduces fatigue / Maintains water-electrolyte and acid-base balance / Antioxidant action

How to prevent digestive discomfort from appearing too often in your training programs? Take care of your diet, your hydration and make the most of your meals . By knowing yourself better and discovering your food preferences, you can gradually avoid these uncomfortable manifestations.

1 – Physical activity and digestion | Digestive Cancer Prevention Center Montreal; https://clinique1037.com/lactivite-physique-et-la-digestion/

2 – Why have good abs? – Dr Frédéric Maton, Dr Patrick Bacquaert ; /http://www.irbms.com/pourquoi-avoir-de-bons-abdominaux

3 – Gastrointestinal disorders and sporting activities – Gérald Gremion | Rev Med Switzerland 2011; volume 7. 1525-1528
https://www.revmed.ch/RMS/2011/RMS-304/Troubles-gastro-intestinaux-et-activites-sportives

4 – Digestive disorders and sport, Nicolas Aubineau Dietitian Sports and clinical nutritionist ; https://www.nicolas-aubineau.com/troubles-digestifs-sport/

5 – The recovery ration, Dr Frédéric Maton, IRBMS ; https://www.irbms.com/ration-recuperation/