When was the last time you stopped and considered the health of your gut? It is often the unspoken part of any strategy to build muscle and enhance health, yet it should be at the forefront of your mind if serious progress is the goal. Without taking great care of your gut, it is impossible to achieve your full potential. The potent, natural concoction which I begin each day with is widely documented. Improved gut health is the biggest beneficiary of consuming this cocktail of goodness which contains organic lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, fermented glutamine, magnesium, fiber, Manuka honey and organic greens powder. To help you appreciate the application of these ingredients, the benefits of each one is detailed below so you understand what makes each element so powerful for your gut health.
Organic Lemon Juice
Rich in Vitamin C, this is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals in the gut. That’s why organic lemon juice is a great addition for any gut-cleansing drink. It also contains a specific type of fiber called pectin that is known to help moderate bad bacteria and encourage the growth of good bacteria.
Apple Cider Vinegar
“ACV” is great at promoting better gut health because it is able to encourage a healthy microbiome and immune balance. It achieves this with its anti-fungal, anti-yeast and anti-viral properties. Research also points to the fact that apple cider vinegar can reduce the amounts of gram-negative bacteria. Usually this type of bacteria comes with a higher endotoxin content that is linked with issues including gut inflammation.
There are fewer natural anti-inflammatory ingredients which carry as many benefits as turmeric. As well as helping reduce gut inflammation, turmeric also stimulates the secretion of bile leading to more efficient digestion. Turmeric also contains properties which can manage gas and reduce bloating, again promoting healthier digestion of food.
Fermented glutamine derived from natural vegetable sources can contribute towards improved gut health. Amongst other things fermented glutamine can help the gut wall rebuild itself, reducing gastric related issues including “leaky gut syndrome.”
As well as improving immune health, Manuka honey has anti-bacterial properties for the gut as well as being enriched with antioxidants. It helps reduce inflammation alongside several of the other ingredients in my morning concoction. From a functional perspective, it also makes this concoction vastly more tolerable given its otherwise undesirable taste!
Organic Greens Powder
Organic greens powders are great for gut health because they contribute a variety of phytonutrients and fiber for sustained gut performance. So many diets aren’t rich enough in either which can disrupt gut health.
Together, all of these ingredients help elevate the health of my gut so you’re able to assimilate food better to build muscle quicker.
The next habit you should try to stick to for improved gut health is to consume organic food, while making sure your meat is pasture-raised and grass-fed wherever possible. Not only is this usually more ethical but it protects your gut from unwanted chemicals which can induce excessive inflammation. The pesticides and antibiotics used in commercialized farming often mean that the foods on grocery store shelves are riddled with harmful chemicals all in an attempt to increase production. Organic food is also often richer in micronutrients because they’ve not been farmed so intensely to meet commercially driven quotas.
Cortisol has a big part to play in gut health mainly because as stress hormones increase, the gut falls under a great deal of stress. Due to the “flight or fight” response, blood is sent away from the gut to more highly prioritized parts of the body, leaving it much harder to process food properly. Managing cortisol effectively helps the gut work much more efficiently. In fact, doctors are finding a greater correlation between chronic stress and gastric health disorders than ever before. This is why you should take great effort in improving your sleep and reducing stress from your life where possible through meditation, along with other biohacks.
Why Does This All Matter For Muscle Growth?
Bodybuilders spend a great deal of time buying groceries, preparing meals and eating every three hours in order to grow. The attention to detail is so specific that macros are weighed out for each meal all in an attempt to gain an extra percent or two. If all of this effort is made without taking care of gut health, it means it can all be in vain. All of these meals are eaten and then processed by the gut. It is at this point the nutrients are assimilated and distributed accordingly based upon the needs of the body, the quality of the nutrients and quantities ingested. If the gut isn’t working properly, then this process breaks down. Nutrient assimilation happens at a slower rate or becomes compromised permanently which means recovery cannot occur as quickly as it should. When recovery becomes undermined by poor gut performance everything else also suffers. Even immune function becomes an issue because approximately three quarters of the immune system is housed within the gut. This is why lots of autoimmune diseases are linked with gut issues; they’re often more closely linked than you might believe. The message is clear – take care of your gut through smarter choices and in doing so your immune system will often be healthier and this usually correlates with faster muscle growth.
Line of Defense
The temptation is to always focus on things like macros, shiny-labeled supplements and workout plans, which promise miracles rather than more mundane topics such as gut health. Ironically, the real long-term results lie firmly within taking care of the gut and doing everything possible to protect it. If you are really serious about it, you should consider having a full gut health test done, which enables you to ascertain which food groups trigger inflammation and pose a threat to you. Making an investment like this upfront can be a great way to enjoy many years of fruitful muscle growth, as well as enhanced health. This is just one of many aspects I get my clients to focus on. If you want to apply for my coaching program, head over to coach.healthkik.com