Les bienfaits du sport sur la digestion data-src=

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Sports and digestion: what's the connection ?

What is the impact of exercise on digestion?

It can't be overstated: exercising is excellent for physical and mental well-being. 💪

But have you ever tried exercising on a full stomach? If this experience wasn't a success, there are very good reasons for it.

Sports enthusiasts: this article is for you!

We explain how exercise affects digestion and most importantly how to balance physical activity and digestive comfort.

How does digestion work?

Digestion is the process of transforming ingested food into nutrients and waste through mechanical and chemical transformations.

This complex process involves the coordination of several organs and different chemical substances. To understand the impact of exercise on digestion, it is essential to comprehend how everything coexists inside.

Let's go, we'll explain! 🧐

The different stages of digestion

Here are the main stages of digestion:

  1. Oral ingestion: the moment when food is introduced into the mouth. Chewing and the action of saliva begin to break down carbohydrates.

  2. Gastric digestion: corresponds to the passage of food into the stomach. The stomach performs a mechanical action through the contraction of its muscular walls, as well as a chemical action through gastric juices.

  3. Intestinal digestion: occurs in the small intestine. The partially digested food (also called chyme) is exposed to several enzymes from the pancreas and intestinal juices. The small intestine is also primarily responsible for the absorption of nutrients.

  4. The waste elimination process: is initiated in the large intestine. All undigested substances undergo bacterial fermentation until stool is formed. The stools are then stored in the rectum, which, once filled to a certain volume, triggers the defecation reflex.

Les bienfaits du sport sur la digestion

The Autonomic Nervous System

Even though we might wish for control, the digestive system is not under our command!

Without our conscious awareness, our organs tirelessly work to break down food, extract essential nutrients, and eliminate waste.

But how does our body orchestrate this incredible mechanism? Intriguing... 🕵️‍♂️

Well, it's thanks to the autonomic nervous system.

The nervous system is actually a network of nerves and cells spread throughout our body. The nerves carry electrical signals that transmit information between the brain, the spinal cord, and the organs.

The autonomic nervous system's uniqueness lies in its ability to operate without our conscious state. It thus regulates all the vital functions of the human body, such as breathing, digestion, and blood circulation. It contrasts with the voluntary nervous system, which controls the conscious movements of muscles and bodily sensations.

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Exercise and Digestion: A Complex Relationship?

Exercise can contribute to improving your digestive comfort. However, not in just any manner.

More explanations below!👇🏼

The Benefits of Exercise on Digestion

By engaging in physical activity, you're also doing your digestive system a favor.

Indeed, if you haven't already, you really need to get moving.🏃‍♂️

These eight tips might help you find the necessary motivation.

Here are the main benefits of exercise on digestion:

  1. Physical exercise promotes the movement of abdominal muscles, which prevents constipation.

  2. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Some digestive disturbances can thus be alleviated through the release of endorphins and the relaxation it provides.

  3. Exercise generally improves blood circulation throughout the body, including in the digestive system. This leads to more efficient nutrient absorption.

  4. Exercise also helps to control weight. Excessive weight is sometimes responsible for various undesirable digestive discomforts.

  5. Certain exercises, like crunches, strengthen the muscles of the stomach and digestive system.

Exercise can also disrupt digestion…

Well, this is not a reason to stay glued to the couch, let's be clear!

Exercise can also disrupt digestion due to its impact on the autonomic nervous system.

When we exercise, our body reacts by mobilizing resources to meet a high physical demand.

Engaging in intense activities can divert the body's attention away from digestion. Frequent digestive discomforts may then occur.

But then, you might ask, “how can I exercise without harming digestion?”

To exercise while preserving your digestion, don't hesitate to:

  1. Try to eat light before engaging in physical activity.

  2. Wait at least an hour after your meal before starting your exercises.

  3. Hydrate before, during, and after exertion, as this promotes good digestion.

  4. Take a break if you experience pain or discomfort.

le sport et la digestion

Another Factor Influencing Digestion: Stress

As if its afflictions were not enough, stress also harms digestion. 😔

Stress can disrupt digestion, triggering reactions in our body that slow down the digestive process.

An INSERM study demonstrates the impact that stress can have on the plasticity of the intestinal nervous system. In other words, in times of stress, you might experience gastrointestinal discomforts, such as bloating or changes in bowel movements, for example.

To remedy this, you can read our article on learning to breathe better.

Some Tips to Improve Your Digestion

We've concocted some additional tips that might make your life easier.

This article on natural solutions for a lazy intestine may help.

Consuming Probiotics

These living microorganisms, naturally present in our intestines, are useful for contributing to digestive comfort by aiding nutrient absorption, and helping maintain a healthy intestinal flora.

And did you know: we do not all have the same intestinal microbiota composition.

In fact, it varies based on various factors such as our lifestyle, environment, and even our genetic heritage.

In your diet, you can find probiotics in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, or sauerkraut.

Don't hesitate to try our Probiotic Formula or our Digestion Pack.

Adopting a Healthier Diet

As you know as well as we do, digestion can also be improved by eating healthier.

For starters, avoid consuming foods that cause you discomfort.

Think about fibers that are known to promote intestinal transit.

Enjoy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes! 😋

You can also read these articles:

  1. The 10 best foods good for the intestines

  2. Anti-bloating recipes: discover our tips and recipes

Manger sain

Eating Slowly

Come on, one last piece of advice: let's try to stop pouncing on our meals like a hungry wolf! 🐺

Eating slowly can improve your digestion for several reasons:

  1. Food will be chewed more thoroughly, which will reduce the workload on the stomach.

  2. Eating quickly increases the amount of air swallowed, which increases the risk of intestinal discomfort.

  3. You'll have time to recognize the feeling of fullness, which will help you avoid the unpleasant effects of overeating.

In Conclusion

While the benefits of exercise are well-known, your practice should nonetheless remain reasonable to not harm your digestion.

To improve your digestive comfort, don't hesitate to follow our advice and try probiotics that will help you rebalance your intestinal flora.


Co-founder of NOVOMA

Passionate and expert in micronutrition, Lucas founded Novoma in 2012. With conviction, he develops dietary supplements with effective, carefully chosen active ingredients that are 100% clean to best meet the body's needs.

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