Support optimal muscle gains by looking after your gut microbiome

by Ashleigh Feltham,  Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist

Do you want to see the most from your efforts in the gym?

When it comes to seeing optimal results, it is unlikely on the top of your list to remember to look after the health of your gut microbiome. There appears to be a ‘gut-muscle’ axis where the gut directly influences the function of your muscles.

Looking After Your Gut Microbiome

When your gut microbiome is in optimal balance it seems to promote:

  1. Increased levels of protective antioxidants and decreased levels of harmful reactive oxygen species when you exercise at high intensities.
  2. Lower levels of muscle atrophy (when the muscle wastes).
  3. Increased strength in frail elderly.
  4. Improved anaerobic ability.
  5. Increased muscle mass.

By combining a balanced diet and exercise this combination not only feeds your muscles but supports the health of your gut microbiome to allow you to see better results. The need for adequate fibre and a variety of plant foods is a key component to ensuring the health of your gut.

Plant-based foods provide an array of different health benefits for your gut and including at least one of the plant-based foods in each meal and snack can help you to achieve your daily fibre needs and support the health of your gut. These include foods like wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Inadequate fibre and an overall diet imbalance results in greater levels of chronic inflammation, a lower function of the powerhouse of your cells called mitochondria, and greater muscle wastage and increased levels of fat storage.

Did you know that each pouch of South Australian Gourmet Food Company Fruit Custard with Added Fibre gives your body over 1/3rd of an adult’s daily fibre needs? The good news for the microbes in your gut is the type of soluble fibre provided called inulin acts as a prebiotic which feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

Looking After Your Gut Microbiome

Take home message:

Train smart by not only putting the effort in when you hit the gym but also remembering to support the health of your gut microbes.