The Dangers of Eating Too Much Fiber
A diet that consists of 20 to 35g of fiber per day is sufficient. Lower amounts of fiber can lead to complications discussed in another article. Too much fiber can also be detrimental. Today, we’re going to explain what those detriments are, and find out how to prevent them.
It’s now common knowledge that fiber should be a part of your rider nutrition plan. Fiber helps your body digest the food you eat. Proper digestion means more nutrition, more energy, more strength, and more alertness, to name a few. These are all important for improved performance on the track.
The Problems With Too Much Fiber
As I mentioned earlier, fiber helps your body digest food. There are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble dissolves in water. Insoluble does not. It passes through your digestive system intact.
Both types of fiber are essential to your overall health and fitness, and both affect how your body digests food in different ways. When the two are not balanced properly, complications can arise and affect your performance on the track.
Here are the main problems athletes face with too much fiber in their rider nutrition program:
Lack of protein and carbohydrates. If you’re overeating fiber, it’s typically safe to say you’re not eating enough protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The reason that statement is most likely true is that foods that are rich in fiber are not generally abundant in the other nutrients. A lack of protein and carbohydrates can lead to lower energy levels.
Inhibit mineral absorption. Too much fiber regularly can inhibit your body’s absorption of certain minerals, like zinc, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals help fuel and protect your body. If they’re absent, your body is at risk of both fatigue and injury. Insoluble fiber is more prone to cause mineral deficiencies.
Digestive complications. Too much fiber can lead to gastrointestinal complications, like gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and cramping. I think it’s safe to say that digestive difficulties are not something you want to experience while on the track. Discomfort distracts, and it can cause slower reaction times, lack of focus, and more.
How To Keep Yourself From Eating Too Much Fiber
Once too much fiber has been digested, waiting it out is about the only option you have besides using medication to help ease stomach issues. Therefore, the best offense is to have a solid defense in place.
Here’s the game plan for preventing yourself from digesting too much fiber:
Don’t eat a high-fiber meal right before a race. You’re nerves, and adrenaline is typically running at full throttle right before a race. Ingesting a meal that is high in fiber will most likely upset your stomach. The combination of nerves and high fiber before a race usually leads to disastrous results.
Keep track of the fiber you take in. It’s tedious work, but it’s worth it. Keep track of what you eat daily and take notice of the amount of fiber you’re eating. If it’s between 20 and 35g per day, you’re good. Anything above that, and you might want to back off a little.
Drink plenty of water. Remember that soluble fiber dissolves in water. Water can help reduce the side effects of too much fiber, mainly if your diet consists of a lot of foods with soluble fiber, like oatmeal, carrots, oranges, and apples.
Fiber is an essential nutrient that should be included in every diet. However, too much fiber, or BAD fiber, can lead to issues such as a lack of other nutrients, mineral absorption issues, and digestive complications. The best ways to counteract too much fiber are to watch what you eat daily, keep track of your daily fiber intake with a rider nutrition plan, and drink plenty of water.
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