The Truth About Nutrient Absorption

nutrient absorption

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 on nutrient absorption.

What Impacts Nutrient Absorption

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 matter. While popular, antacids can decrease the 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. Many antacids, antibiotics, blood thinners, and anti-depressants to name a few. 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 the 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 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.

ph Balance:  Being overly acidic can affect the absorption of nutrients and having an alkaline pH may be beneficial for overall health. A study shows that the sodium/potassium ratio in the body may be beneficial as well as the absorption of magnesium. This is why what you eat matters. Diets full of processed foods, sugar, and salt are not nutrient-rich. Focusing on eating whole foods, fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean meats. 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. You also might want to join our free 7-Day Gut Health Challenge. A healthy gut for a healthier you!