Now I know how it might look. Me, a self-professed bodybuilding and physique fanatic, has written articles recently on anything but bodybuilding. I mean my last two article were on the health dangers of canola oil and how cinnamon can help lower your blood sugar.
In reality, I just look to every legal avenue in order to build muscle and lose bodyfat and I have to say, most people are completely mistaken on the health benefits of digestive enzymes.
I think the enzymes are partially to blame for it. Look at the name “digestive enzymes”, to most people they’ll just assume that they are only to aid in digestion. I guess that was initially how it was until research came out and smacked us on our collective heads and yelled “There’s more to it”.
As a matter of fact, digestive enzymes has numerous health benefits for bodybuilding or any type of athletic endeavor.
Our body produces a certain amount of digestive enzymes based on the foods we eat. Raw foods are higher in enzymes because they obviously aren’t cooked out. The three main enzymes that we are most concerned about are…
Protease which aids in the digestion of proteins.
Lipase to digest fats.
Amylase to digest starches.
Most people are deficient in specific enzymes but I can’t tell you which ones you’re low in as they vary based on the individual. The majority of people are lactose intolerant which means they can’t digest diary. Other carbohydrates or fruit intolerant individuals can’t digest galactose or fructose intolerant (yet another reason why I am against large fruit intake during dieting phases).
The Big Problem
So what’s the easy way that you tell if you’re intolerant? If you have digestive issues you may experience diarrhea, bloating, constipation, cramps or heartburn. In addition, you may experience fatigue after you consume these foods.
Another issue that we need to look into is that most people have issues digesting complex carbohydrates. Most humans lack the enzymes to digest beans and other complex carbohydrate sources effectively.
How We Get Messed Up
Essentially, here’s what happens when we lack the necessary enzymes to digest food that we eat daily.
Bloating occurs once food can’t be broken down->depending on our pH level a certain amount of intestinal bacteria will be called to break down the present food-> bloating either increases or decreases based on the degree of how food is digested and we may experience some of the other symptoms above including fatigue.
Not pleasant right? I’ve talked about pH balance before and if you remember, when our internal pH is low then protein is used as energy instead of muscle growth and our anabolic hormones decrease.
How Digestive Enzymes Can Help Us
The biggest benefits that most individuals never know about digestive enzymes is how healing they can be. Research has shown that within the first 72 hours of a muscle tear (as in you’re at the gym and something doesn’t feel right) when digestive enzymes (plant) are taken on a empty stomach they have the ability to heal small tears.
Here’s some other benefits
-When taken with food enzymes cause the nutrients to be “time-released” which allows for a steadier absorption rate.
-Enzymes assist biochemical reactions in the body. So if you’re training hard and eating right they’ll assist your natural testosterone production.
-When taken on a empty stomach digestive enzymes have the ability to break down stored fat in the body. Not at a extreme level that you’ll notice rapid weight loss but at a level that you’ll notice decreased pain should you have scar tissue build up.
You see, digestive enzymes aren’t just for the extreme raw food guys anymore.
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