You’re eating healthier; you’re working out. You know that all this clean food and great choices are going to give you more energy and a better outlook on life. Not to mention, you’ll finally get to cut the tags on the little black dress taunting you from the back of your closet and wear it on date night. Then your son looks up from his phone to interrupt your happy thoughts and says, “Ewww gross, who did that?!!!!!!”
Pretty soon everyone else in the room notices the rotten egg smell spreading quickly and evacuates. You have 2 choices, run with them and blame someone else, or apologize.
This condition could last several hours and in the mean time you can’t even stand to be in the same room with yourself. It didn’t happen when you were eating junk, so why now?
My family will be the first to tell you that I’ve been there. My husband’s sentiment: “How can such a beautiful woman create such a horrible smell?!!!” It’s not just because I’m getting older, either. Every time I start with renewed effort working out and eating clean, I’m a victim, even when I was in my 20’s. I’ve finally figured out why it’s happening, and the good news is it’s completely preventable. What I’m about to tell you will allow you to start your fitness plan without fear.
In a nutshell, flatulence is caused by the incomplete digestion of food. I’d just say farting, but my Mom thinks it’s a swear word and she likes to read my blogs–#1 fan. It could be any food: a protein, a carb or a fat. The incompletely digested food will ferment in the intestines creating carbon dioxide. That’s why fermented beverages like kombucha, kefir and wine are fizzy like soda pop. The carbon dioxide builds up in your intestines causing an unpleasant fullness that will get shoved around the other solid bits in there, try not to think about that too deeply, until it finds it’s way out, carrying with it other traces of molecules from the fermentation that create the unique flavor of the gassy smell.
Sulfur containing foods like eggs, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and sulfur treated dried fruits are the most noxious. Before you swear off all sulfur containing foods, know this: Sulfur is an essential nutrient. Your body uses it to make collagen, which is what gives skin it’s youthful elasticity and smooth appearance and fingernails their strength. You want sulfur. Sulfur is good.
Instead of swearing off all those healthy foods that have caused flatulence in the past, it’s much better to give our body the tools to digest them properly. Our bodies gradually adjust to effectively digest the types of foods it is fed most, so any time you change your diet drastically, there’s going to be discomfort, even if you are changing from unhealthy to healthy foods. To get through this transition time, there are 3 things you can add to your diet to make it as comfortable as possible.
These are active proteins that aid in the digestion of food, including the breaking down of soluble fiber into pre-biotic food for the good bacteria in your gut. We lose enzymes through our sweat (and poop), which means as we start a new fitness plan with workouts we have fewer enzymes to handle the greater demands that drastic change places on the body.
Look for a comprehensive enzyme tablet, like this one.
Take 1 or 2 capsules about 30 minutes before eating (every time you eat.) If you take it after you’ve started eating, it won’t work nearly as well. Your body produces it’s own enzymes and can use the ones present in raw foods, BUT when you change your eating drastically it can’t adapt fast enough and raw foods aren’t enough. If they were, eating a head of raw cauliflower would result in 0 flatulence and we both know that won’t happen. Take the tablet; trust me.
These are good bacteria and yeasts that live in our intestines. They help with immune function, destroying harmful bacteria or yeast, and aid the digestion of foods. You can find them in foods like kefir, kombucha, and kimchi, and in much lesser quantities in yogurt. We need a constant supply of probiotics because we lose them when we poop, are stressed, and when we take antibiotics (or anti-fungals). Among their other functions, probiotics also produce some of the enzymes that help with our digestion. We can’t make our own pro-biotics but we can create an environment in our body that is friendly for them. Most cultures have naturally fermented foods as part of their traditional diets that keep the gut flora healthy. I do a combo of a comprehensive pro-biotic capsule and eating fermented foods.
Pre-biotics are plant fibers that we can’t digest and use as humans, but the pro-biotics in our gut use as fuel. They don’t add to our calorie intake, but create a healthy environment in our guts for the good bacteria to thrive. When you eat fiber, it’s like feeding a pet. You can get these fibers from fruits and vegetables and whole grains and in dietary supplements containing chicory root, psyllium husk, flax meal, or Glucomannan. As an added benefit, fiber helps us feel full, requires energy to move it through our digestive system (burning more calories), and help eliminate toxins (which is a polite way to say they help us poop.)
All 3 of these things will help with your digestion and gut health, but the fastest solution to fitness flatulence are those enzyme tablets.