Fueling For an IBS Friendly Workout

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Fueling For an IBS Friendly Workout

Why workout for IBS? 

It’s no secret that exercise is imperative to health. It can benefit our mental health as well as our physical health. However, when you add IBS into the mix, it is completely understandable that you may not always have the energy, motivation, or confidence to jump into a grueling workout. Gentle exercise, like walking, yoga, Pilates or light resistance training, can be a great tool to help relieve some of the uncomfortable or painful abdominal and bloating symptoms. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a popular style of training and great for some, however, keep in mind that it may worsen symptoms for IBS-D sufferers. 

When considering a workout, fueling with appropriate nutrition is key. Pre and post workout meals or snacks can have an impact on performance, recovery, and results. Here are some examples of some pre and post fuels that are IBS friendly. 

Pre-Workout Fuel: 

Part of setting yourself up for a great workout is fueling yourself for the work ahead. A quick, carbohydrate rich snack is considered the best thing you can have to give you the energy to get up and go. However, traditional pre-workout snacks, or supplements, can be on the high FODMAP side. There are many low FODMAP alternatives that will provide you with energy, without the belly ache. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Rice cakes with peanut butter 
  • Sourdough toast with jam 
  • Low FODMAP fruits such as oranges, yellow bananas (no spots!) or pineapple
  • Snack bars like Belli Welli bars (which also contain beneficial probiotics & have been approved low FODMAP by Monash University in Australia

The ideal snack may differ depending on how close to your workout you are eating, the type of exercise you are doing and its intensity. I suggest choosing a carbohydrate rich snack & eating it at least 30 minutes before exercise. 

Post-workout fuel: 

Now that you’ve sweated it out, it’s time to think about your post-workout meal. The post-workout meal is an important part of your body’s recovery, along with other things like hydration, a good night’s sleep and muscle care techniques. When it comes to post-workout nutrition, protein is generally the most spoken about component and for good reason in this case. Protein plays the major role in assisting your muscles to repair and rebuild. Your recommended daily intake of protein depends on your weight & goals. To maintain muscle mass, it is recommended than women consume 0.75g per kilogram of body weight and makes consume0.84g per kilogram of body weight. For muscle growth, the recommendations increase up to 2g per kilogram of body weight. 

Fortunately, most protein sources are naturally low FODMAP! Whether a meal (i.e., breakfast or dinner) or a quick snack while you’re on the go, there are some options that are high protein and FODMAP friendly: 

Some great post-workout meal suggestions are: 

  • Eggs on sourdough with some low FODMAP vegetables like spinach or tomato and low FODMAP serve of avocado (1/8th of an avocado)
  • Salmon with roast vegetables (potato, parsnip, carrots etc.) and low FODMAP greens (kale, spinach) 

If you’re on the go, some post-workout snacks are: 

  • High protein lactose free yoghurt  
  • Hard cheese and gluten free crackers 
  • A handful of edamame 
  • A protein shake (the newest protein powder I LOVE is Human Improvement. Based on cricket powder, it is high protein, sustainable and good for your gut!)

If you are considering other pre or post workout supplements. Double check the ingredients list and look out for IBS triggering ingredients like inulin, chicory root fiber, whey protein concentrate and artificial sweeteners. 

Whether you are looking to fuel pre or post workout, you can be confident in these IBS friendly options to get you going & enhance recovery.