The Way to Fuel • 23/08/2019Why is gut health important for athletes?
The gut is an important athletic organ, allowing uptake of the nutrients and water necessary to support exercise. The gut also has various other roles that can impact the health of an athlete. For example,
- Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to control the brains pleasure centre. Dopamine effects our emotions and appetite and 50% of its production comes from the gut.
- Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, appetite and digestion. Our gut produces 90% of our serotonin.
- Housing the microbiome these bacteria are able to provide benefits such as aiding digestion and strengthening our immune system (up to 80% of the immune system is located in the gut.) The gut microbiome has also been linked to alterations in mood, anxiety, depression, memory, food cravings & eating behaviours.
- The structural formation of muscle tissue
- The structural formation of connective tissues and bone
- A major component of most body enzymes
- The transportation of various substances throughout the blood
- Creation of peptide hormones such as insulin
- Creation of Neurotransmitters
- Antibodies necessary for immune function