How Food Intolerances Effect Fitness

Staying fit is so much more than going to the gym regularly. Holistic fitness is more than a new trend – people have been adapting their diet and changing their lifestyle to stay healthy for many years now. To supplement gym efforts, paying attention to food and drink is a vital part of modern fitness. Different foods might be better for sustaining fitness, different drinks can impact recovery in many different ways; pre and post workout meals often determine your final results. Similarly, however, some foods can damage your fitness. Many people around the world have intolerances to certain foods without knowing it at all. They could be regularly consuming ingredients that their body can’t handle. This guide is here to help athletes to understand how a food intolerance could be impacting your fitness progress.

What is a Food Intolerance?

Unlike a food allergy, a food intolerance is not an immune response to alien particles that your body marks as dangerous. As a result, an intolerance cannot kill you, while an allergy can send you into a fatal shock.

Food intolerances are normally dose related – the more you eat, the worse the effects are. These intolerances can be difficult to diagnose – some people are intolerant to more than one food type, or only have a reaction at a certain threshold of food consumption. In fact, leading experts Intolerance Lab have found that without a test, many people never know that they have a condition at all and just go about their day to day life suffering the consequences. A food intolerance can continue to impact fitness in ways that athletes aren’t even aware.

How Food Intolerances Affect Training

Food intolerances can have a range of different symptoms which can completely differ depending on the way that your body works! Every body works differently, but there are some common symptoms that you should look out for. It’s worth noting that every effect of food intolerance has the potential to impact your fitness training in a range of different ways – from impacting how your body digests proteins to impacting your mind and determination.

  • IBS – irritable bowel syndrome can impact up to 15-20% of the population and can be caused by many different food intolerances. There’s a relationship between exercise and IBS – low intensity exercise can even be beneficial, while more intense exercise can exasperate the symptoms, causing athletes to need to stop prematurely. It can make it very difficult to succeed at running, crossfit, intense weight training, boxing and martial arts.
  • Asthma – some food intolerances can trigger reactions for people with asthma. They can make the breathing condition suddenly flair up, making it impossible to continue with a workout.
  • Fatigue – many food intolerances can fatigue. Across different intolerances, sufferers often experience reoccurring, persistent fatigue, which can make it impossible to continue with an exercise routine and can impact their headspace.
  • Insomnia – this crippling inability to sleep can have similar impacts to fatigue. Many people don’t realize that insomnia is a symptom of food intolerance, so can suffer with it for many years without being able to get better.