CALORIE SURPLUS PHASES AND DIGESTIVE DISCOMFORT
When in a mass gain phase, gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating, cramps and other symptoms may seem inevitable and almost, unpreventable. You’re eating the ‘right’ foods, but your body is producing the ‘wrong’ response. You feel heavy, nauseous and a little sick at times.
Here are some common culprits that I have fallen victim to:
1. Excess protein - more protein doesn’t equal more mass. It equals gluconeogenesis (or the use of protein for calories), stress on the kidneys and depending on the source, gut issues. Inspect your protein sources, and take note of symptoms - a simple protein powder switch may do wonders (sweeteners, additives, sugar alcohols).
2. Excess fibre - if you’re gaining mass through a clean bulk, then the chances are you’re eating more of the ‘healthy’ foods; i.e. starchy carbohydrates (rich in fibre), beans and legumes (also rich in fibre) and vegetables on top. Individuals first transitioning to a vegan diet often experience a fibre overload as their gut is not used to it, so its a similar principle - inspect and re-assess your fibre intake; maybe wholegrain this and wholegrain that isn’t always the way…
3. Intolerances and sensitivities - have you added something to your diet that wasn’t there before? Are you eating more dairy? Have you weaned yourself off gluten for *helf* and are now knocking down sourdough like no tomorrow(been there, done that)?
4. General gut biome and inflammation - so you’ve tried yogurt, kimchi, and the praised fermented foods. Nothing. Maybe it’s time to look into additional supplementation - l-glutamine, digestive enzymes, psyllium husk. Saved my wrecked intestines. Do your own research.
5. Overall food quantity - naturally, if you eat more, you’re taxing your body more as it has to process all that, extract the good stuff, get rid of the bad stuff; maybe try going for more calorie-dense options to reduce the sheer bulk of product you’re putting into your machine.
6. Overall food quality - if you're ingesting a load of nutrient-sparse foods, or junk food in a bit to 'dirty bulk' (shouldn't even be a thing), then of course it's going to take a toll.