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GUT to KNOW: Everything about absorption

Absorption – What does my digestion do during exercise?

Fast forward digestion

Absorption. Most people have heard it before, and this term is an unavoidable topic, especially among athletes. Nevertheless, let us briefly summarize:

Resorption comes from the Latin word resorbere and means 'to swallow'. It describes a process in which the body's own or foreign substances are absorbed by biological systems (organs, cells, tissue).

However, digestion does not begin when you swallow or in your stomach, but rather in your mouth. Chewing and adding saliva to food is the first important step in the digestive mechanism.

The swallowed food then ends up in the stomach and is prepared for absorption.

The process of absorption ultimately takes place in the small intestine before it continues into the large intestine and is finally excreted.


How does my digestion work under stress?

You have to imagine it like this: maximum physical exertion means something like 'escape' for the body. Digest while escaping? Rather counterproductive.

Even at 70% of VO2max, blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract decreases by up to 80%. This is just slightly upscale GA1 range.

In addition to supplying nutrients, blood circulation is also essential for cooling the body, which involves regulating body temperature.

The rising body temperature changes the enzymatic activity. However, because enzymes are so important for absorption, this can cause some problems.

In addition, oxidative stress occurs during exercise. This means that there is an increased oxygen turnover in the respiratory chain, which means that more free radicals are present. However, the antioxidants decrease at the same time. However, these would be responsible for keeping the free, very aggressive radicals in balance.

This imbalance can cause a lot of damage at a variety of levels due to the aggressiveness of free radicals.

Free radicals also have a negative influence on the composition of intestinal bacteria. This causes more stress hormones to be released, which in turn provide energy for mainly harmful bacteria.

The result: the harmful bacteria predominate.

In the long term, this imbalance also leads to a negative composition of our intestinal bacteria.

Train your gut

Basically, you can train the body to absorb under stress. However, it is important to know whether a primary intolerance (from birth) or a secondary intolerance (develops over the course of life) already exists.

If you assume the optimal case, you can tolerate all meals without any problems and feel full of energy after eating. In this case, it is sufficient for the “Train your Gut” principle to test the competition food during training. However, it is important that you consume the same amount of carbohydrates as in the competition and also adjust your water intake. The body can generally metabolize 80-90 g of carbohydrates per hour.

However, if there is an intolerance, the matter must be approached slightly differently. First and foremost, it should be clarified which foods are not tolerated and why. Possibilities for this would be, for example, a microbiome analysis.

A common problem among athletes: leaky gut

Athletes are increasingly suffering from what is known as leaky gut, which translates to holey intestines. This problem often arises as a result of stress and increases in stressful phases. The intestine loses its function in maintaining the barrier and, to put it simply, becomes permeable like a sieve.

The body reacts to this with permanent small inflammatory processes, which in turn has negative effects on performance and health.



In order to remain productive and healthy in the long term, your digestion should function well both in everyday life and during exercise.

A balanced diet and the diverse OmniPower and OmniBiotic products can provide additional relief and support for your gastrointestinal tract.

Our experts

about the author

Julia Skala in Magenta OMNi-BiOTiC Power Team Anzug läuft Triathlon

Julia skala

Professional triathlete
Content Creator OMNi-POWER®