Inflammatory bowel disease and sports diet

In general, sport is associated with vitality and health, hence it is assumed that physically active people do not experience any health problems and do not know most of the diseases affecting a less active part of society. Unfortunately, this belief is not entirely correct – although regular physical exercise has a positive effect on health, it is not uncommon for trainers to deal with various ailments, independent of the rest of their physical activity. The gastrointestinal tract is a particular problem, as the specific recommendations for meal composition, which are specific to these accidents, are in contradiction with the sports diet and make it difficult to work on the physical condition. 


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We can distinguish two basic forms of inflammatory bowel disease (abbreviated IBD from – inflammatory bowel disease) ulcerative colitis (colitis ulcerosa) and Leśniowski-Crohn’s disease (ileitis terminalis). In the case of both disease entities in the nutritional management, the diagnosis of the severity of the disease is crucial. Acute states often require introduction of parenteral (parenteral) nutrition and for obvious reasons I will not discuss this issue in this article. I will devote attention to nutrition during remission of the disease. 

In the case of IBD, on the one hand, it is crucial to design a menu to minimize the irritating effects of food, on the other hand it is important to ensure adequate nutrient supply in relation to the increased demand. It is also very important to maintain water and electrolyte balance, especially that the demand for liquids and some electrolytes in the case of people practicing sports is increased. More and more attention is also paid to the proper consumption of foods that are the source of anti-inflammatory compounds, such as fatty acids (their source is flaxseed oil and marine fish). 

The energy supply during the day should be spread out so as not to cause a one-off overload of the digestive system with excess food. Meals should be consumed frequently, a minimum of four times a day, while it is particularly important to pay attention to chewing and chewing food and providing the right amount of fluids. It would seem that these are recommendations similar to those associated with the use of various diets. Unfortunately, in the case of inflammatory bowel disease, a conventional sports diet based on brown rice, whole-grain pasta, curd with oil, broccoli and oatmeal is not the happiest solution. 

First of all, it is not recommended to eat fried, heavily baked, grilled or smoked dishes. The diet also excludes foods with irritating and bloating (whole-grain bread and whole grain pasta, onion, citrus, lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, pods, corn, mushrooms, spinach, nuts, coffee and some spices). A significant proportion of people with IBD also do not tolerate lactose, so milk and milk products should be clearly limited or sometimes completely eliminated from the diet, but it should not be done if these products are well tolerated. You definitely need to reduce the intake of simple sugars in your diet and eliminate alcohol altogether. 

The diet of IBS active people should be based on non-digestive products, with individual responses to individual foods that can sometimes be different. 

Relatively well tolerated foods include potatoes, white rice, turkey, chicken, lean beef veal, good quality lean hams, eggs, jams (in small quantities), white pasta and white bread and fish (according to some sources – you can eat greasy, with due to the content of fatty acids with anti-inflammatory effect). Quite well tolerated are also bananas, which are great as a quick post-workout meal. However, vegetables and fruits are safer to eat after heat treatment. The dishes are recommended to be cooked, steamed or baked in foil. 

The problem of intake of dietary fiber is problematic. Typically, a low-income diet is recommended (i.e. providing a low supply of dietary fiber), however, in selected cases, the consequence of such restrictions are persistent constipation, in which case increasing the amount of fiber in the diet is the most reasonable solution. This issue is worth discussing with your doctor or dietitian.


You can read also: Easy-to-digest diet