Have you ever wondered how your body absorbs the nutrients you provide through your calorie intake? Or why some people can better absorb than others? Well, here’s your answer to the latter question. The following are a few factors that can influence nutrient absorption:
Stress: In today’s hectic world, many report indigestion and heartburn, mostly from stress. These conditions stem from the body’s natural “fight or flight” status. It’s how we respond to these conditions that matters. While popular, antacids can decrease absorption of some nutrients. Instead, it’s better to focus on the source of stress and how we react to it.
Drugs: Certain drugs are known to decrease the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, while others seem to intensify it. It’s best to check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if your medications could be a culprit.
Alcohol: Do you like to enjoy a few beers after work? Go easy. A 1993 report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that alcohol inhibits the breakdown of nutrients by decreasing secretion of digestive enzymes. No good!
Caffeine: It is known that caffeine can reduce iron absorption by up to 80 percent. To counter this, you might consider drinking non-caffeinated versions of coffee, tea and other drinks when you can.
Exercise: Intense exercise may feel good every now and then, but be forewarned that it can affect nutrient absorption. That’s because when your body is busy trying to send fresh blood and nutrients to working muscles, it cannot focus on digestion and absorption. That’s why it’s important to wait a couple of hours between meals and hitting the gym.
Speaking of eating, if you’re not sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs through your diet, you might consider supplementation, but be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise or supplement regimen.