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Article: Is Your Fitness Regime Sabotaging Your Gut Health?

man and woman exercising

Is Your Fitness Regime Sabotaging Your Gut Health?

Fit, healthy, exercise conscious people are not immune to gut problems like bloating, pain, constipation, IBS, diarrhoea, leaky gut & IBD. In fact, many fitness enthusiasts are sadly sabotaging their gut health unknowingly every day - with their fitness routine! What's the link between exercise and gut health? Here's a few tips & things to consider - check you’re not one of them!


Common Gut Health Issues Experienced by Fitness Enthusiasts & What May be Causing Them:



  • excessively high protein diets (changes in your microbiome from excess protein can cause constipation)
  • excess fat or low fat diets (also causes changes in the microbiome & liver function / bile secretion). Too much fat can alter the microbiome negatively & too little can mean the liver slows right down / secretes less bile – one of our own naturally produced laxatives. diets with too little fibre & low fibre diversity (low diversity in our diet = low diversity on our microbiome = more prone to constipation & many other gut issues).
  • food intolerances (many people get extremely constipated from cow’s dairy – the casein – which is also often found in protein powders & bars).
  • sudden changes to diet (this will alter the microbiome, & constipation can occur).
  • some supplements (various health supplements can slow your gut down, best to check with your naturopath / pharmacist etc).
  • irregular eating habits / changes to eating patterns ie fasting (when no food comes in for the morning, the gut is not triggered into activity & contraction, so a regular morning poo is less likely). Or just less frequent poos in general with less eating, also can alter your microbiome, positively or negatively.



      • trying to drink litres of milk when ‘bulking’ (lactose will cause diarrhoea in many people)
      • supplements with non-sugar sweeteners – ie protein powders, bars, pre workouts etc (lsugar alcohols cause diarrhoea ie maltitol, xylitol etc) these can send you running to the loo with painful bloating & explosive diarrhoea (do not binge eat the low carb lollies or protein bars people!)
      • stressing about your weight or your body (or about anything), you must keep your nervous system calm to digest effectively, you need to be in the ‘rest & digest’ predominantly, if you’re stressed – you’re in ‘fight or flight’ with no hope of healthy digestive function!


          Leaky Gut:

          • demanding exercise sessions can make your gut lining compromised & hyper-permeable. Keep your sessions under 90 minutes, avoid over-exercising, give yourself recovery periods (for your muscles & your gut!)



            • eating too much for your needs, eating when not hungry, or eating too frequently trying to ‘get huge’. Your gut ideally requires 3 hours between inputs to operate well / stay functional. And over feeding = not healthy for your digestive tract.
            • liver overloaded with excessive supplements / excess eating. Best to obtain your nutrients from wholefood where possible, take just a few supps (not a cupboard full) if you feel better on them & they’re recommended by your health professional.


              Bloating & Gas:

              • excess protein
              • sweeteners like sugar alcohols
              • eating too frequently / too much
              • carbonated drinks
              • gulping food / not chewing enough
              • constipation (when the gut stops moving smoothly / there are blockages, gas can become trapped).
              • high FODMAP diet (in sensitive people, a diet high in FODMAPs can cause extreme gas, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation). Don’t avoid FODMAP unless you are experiencing these, & it’s best to work with a professional on this diet.
              • food intolerances i.e gluten, dairy (most common offenders, but there are so many more!)



                • eating too much (ie bigger meals than you’re used to after a fasting period)
                • not leaving enough space in between meals / eating too frequently to make muscle gains


                  How to Get Your Gut Healthy Again:

                  • Eat balanced, comfortable sized meals, spaced 3 hrs or more apart, with macros tailored appropriately to your training & health goals.
                  • Don’t go overboard with protein, excess to your needs will be wasted & will be detrimental to your gut, liver etc.
                  • Avoid the weird sweeteners (& also avoid regular sugar!)
                  • Don’t change your diet ‘all of a sudden’, rather ease your way into new eating plans, giving the gut time to adjust.
                  • Don’t eat a big meal right before exercise (unless it’s just walking). Eat after or at least 1.5 hrs before.
                  • Keep quality fats in your diet (just keep them natural, omega 3 heavy & grass fed; avoid trans fats / vegetable oil / canola oil etc).


                    How goodMix products are relevant to support your fitness goals & gut health:

                    • Blend11 & Blend13 can be used (soaked overnight) & added into any smoothie. They provide loads of healthy fats, a good amount of plant protein, plus a great serve of GF, low FODMAP, fermentable fibre to support your gut microbial diversity & bowel function (without the bloating common to many fibre supplements).
                    • Greens + Aloe gently supports liver detox, nourishes / helps to balance our gut microbiome, calms leaky gut & inflammation, while supplying valuable vitamins, minerals & antioxidants.
                    • Burger Mix is a super easy way to get more fibre diversity in to your week, just add water, olive oil & fresh grated veggies for the best veggie patties ever (feel free to add meat, fish etc – they’re handy for households with different dietary needs & preferences!)
                    • Bliss Ball Mix makes it insanely quick, easy & hassle free to whip up a huge batch of choc protein balls! Craving-killing deliciousness with no food processing required! Just add water &/or coconut oil (plus any extra goodness you may want to cram in ie extra protein powder, collagen, hempseeds, nut butter etc etc etc! ) So many options to keep you away from the addictive sugar trap that will derail your health & fitness goals!
                      We also stock a great probiotic, collagen powder and pea protein powder.

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