Farting, cutting the cheese, gas, wind, or, to be technical, flatulence—you get the idea. We all do it, but it’s an embarrassing topic to openly talk about. And talk about awkward when it happens mid-workout—there’s no doubt that the guy next to you will smell that silent but deadly killer. Not only can too much gas cause uncomfortable situations, but it will also leave your stomach in a knot—not a muscular one.
It’s estimated that the average person passes gas about 14 times a day. If you’re cutting the cheese way more than that, then take a look at your protein intake. Depending on the source, protein can be harder on your body to digest. It may be the reason why people are giving you a weird look at the gym.
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1. Focus on Fiber
As mentioned before, protein takes a while to break down in your body. This causes a thermic effect due to the difficulties of breaking it down. Thermic effect means that your body uses more calories to digest and uses the calories in protein. When your body breaks down protein, nitrogen is left. The end result of that positive nitrogen balance is you letting one loose. Another reason why you’re farting can be due to the fact that your carbohydrate consumption may be minimal. A diet lacking in fiber mixed in with a ton of protein will make for one constipated gym-goer.
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2. Know Your Powder
Protein farts—what we like to call gas that’s produced from eating a lot of protein. And they can be more pungent when you’re pushing the whey protein shakes. Check to see if your protein powder is either concentrate or isolate. Concentrate contains more lactose than isolate. Isolate protein powders have a long filtration process, which helps to eliminate a majority of the lactose. And if that doesn’t work then try opting for pea or soy protein powder because you may be lactose intolerant. Having gas and feeling bloated are the two classic symptoms. Also mix the powder with non-dairy milk like almond milk, or incorporate the protein powder into a recipe.
Added tip: Instead of chugging your post-workout shake, drink it slowly because you’ll prevent yourself from ingesting extra air. When you ingest extra air, the air gets trapped and absorbed by the blood stream, which creates nitrogen also known as farts. Lastly, blending your shake for too long is another way to intake too much air.
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3. Use Probiotics
Probiotics are the gut-friendly bacteria that work to keep you healthy. You can take a probiotic supplement or eat yogurt, which is lactose intolerant-friendly since it’s a cultured bacteria. Taking live bacteria can reduce the amount of “bad” bacteria in your gut and replenish the “good” bacteria. When you’re buying a probiotic supp, look for one that contains lactobacillus and bifobacterium. Probiotics have been seen to help regulate the movement of food throughout the GI tract.
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4. Spice it Up
Carminative: A new nutrition word you need to be aware of because it’s a substance that can relieve excess gas. Garlic, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, cumin, and dill are just a few herbs to name in the carminative family. Sprinkle some into food, a shake, or have it as a tea. A study published by the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology indicated that ginger in particular could help banish gas. That’s because ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols, which ease your GI tract.
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5. Cut the Cheese
Not only does a high protein intake affect gas, but other foods do as well. Carbohydrate foods that are not necessarily breads can trigger you to fart more. Those foods are beans (you should know that joke), Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cheese, cauliflower, gum, and onions. If possible, try to avoid or reduce the amount of these foods you’re eating.
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6. Pace Your Protein
When you’re going hard in the gym, it’s recommended to ingest 1-1.5g or protein per pound of aimed bodyweight. That means if you’re at 180lbs and you’re looking to pack on the muscle, you should aim for at least 215g of protein per day. That’s a hell of a lot of protein if you’re not used to consuming that much. Instead of going full ham with that much protein a day, gradually work yourself up to that 215. Start with 175g of protein and each day add 10-15g more—it will be easier on your stomach, and you’ll be less gassy.