Thursday, 12 April 2012

Digestion and Fatigue

lockbuster meals at lunch can cancel out the rest of your work or school day.  Much of your blood focuses on digestion, not on the brain.  The result: a greater chance of making mistakes or walking into an accident.

To stay safe, eat light.  Athletes involved in endurance races (Le Mans 24 hour car race; the Tour De France cycling event) have shown that eating a series of smaller meals can quicken your digestion (which means quicker energy) without slowing you down.

If you’re on night shift, and want to catch up on your zzzz’s as you get home, don’t eat a heavy meal within 3 hours of the end of your shift.

Some foods take longer than others to digest, which means the blood that is supposed to bring oxygen to the brain is still stuck down in the stomach.  That’s not good when you have to stay focused in a meeting.  That pig roast at lunch can literally send your career into a tailspin.  I recommend getting a food chart; know what you’re eating and what it does to your body - and your mind.  The following are some digestion times for basic food categories without going into specific foods themselves -

Green vegetables (non starch) - 5 hrs.
Fat - 12 hrs.
Protein (starch) - 12 hrs.
Starch - 5 hrs.
Fruit, sweet/dried - 3 hrs.
Fruit (sub-acid) - 2 hrs.
Melon - 2 hrs.
Milk - 12 hrs.
Raw juices - 15 min.
Protein (meat) - 12 hrs.
Protein (fat) - 12 hrs.
Mild starch - 5 hrs.
Fruit (Acid) - 2 hrs.
Fruit, sweet/fresh - 3 hrs

Gut toxicity - sorry about the term but it sure is a real item in the world of digestion.  Allergens can irritate your system because their protein molecules can sometimes be bigger in size than normally found in foods.  Your blood vessels or mucous membranes usually screen out these bigger molecules, but if they do get through, low energy and fatigue can result. 

If in time membranes become leaky through irritation, undigested foods pass more easily into the blood stream.  The body treats undigested foods as invaders. The result? -  you’re always tired because your body is involved in an ongoing war.

Food provides you with fuel. The quality of that food influences the quality of your day. Please don’t rely on foods that slow you down and destroy your health!


  1. Basically if you look at this mathematically, Garbage in = garbage out! Far too many people do not focus on what fuel they put into thier body. Like we always say in the Dojo, we put in the hard work training so the street becomes easy, the same rule applies, good fuel in make the work the body does easier.

  2. Hi Sensei Preece,

    I totally agree. If you want to train at your best you have to take in the healthiest food.


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