The Ins and Outs of Digestion
Posted: Thu 25 Jul 2013 at 2:56:24 PM by Jon
Did you know that it can take up to 53 hours to fully digest and rid your body of the food you put into your mouth? So if you weren't aware of what your diet consists of already, this fact should help get you on track.
According to Michael F. Picco M.D, digestion time varies between individuals and between men and women. A study done by the Mayo Clinic reveals that after you eat, it takes about six to eight hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine. Food then enters your large intestine (colon) for further digestion, absorption of water and elimination of undigested food. The article below states that the average transit time through just the large intestine (colon) was 40 hours, with significant difference between men (33 hours) and women (47 hours).
So what are the implications? Well for one, if you or your gym buddy suffer from digestive issues you may have misdiagnosed your symptoms. Because it takes so long for a food item to pass through your system, you may have a reaction to that food up to 48 hours after ingesting it. This makes it hard to put a finger on what foods your body struggles to break down.
Your next questions must be what does this mean for your workouts? If you do struggle with digestion, it will be very hard to engage your core when your digestive system is in distress. The last thing you want is to be unable to use your abs in a heavy legs day. So eliminate those foods that cause you to become bloated so that you stand a chance at recruiting all the muscles needed to perform an exercise efficiently and successfully. When it comes to pre workout nutrition, it all comes down to the individual. Play around with food choices and time between your last meal and your workout. This will help you figure out how long you need to digest your food in order to be able to perform a successful workout.