Lactose intolerance is something that millions of people have to live with on a daily basis, holding sway over the dietary choices they make.
This is also an intolerance that can make an impact on your fitness routine, which is not something that many sufferers will consider when they decide to get fit.
Here is a look at the ways that lactose intolerance will shape your approach to an active, healthy lifestyle and the options that are available for overcoming some of the obstacles it creates.
What to Eat
Humans evolved to break down the complex sugars of lactose over thousands of years, but this isn’t an adaptation that everyone shares. So for those with an intolerance, most dairy products are off the menu.
This is relevant for fitness because a lot of the most popular protein supplements contain lactose as they are based on whey extracted from milk.
The good news is that lactose-free whey protein powder is available for those who literally can’t stomach dairy products. This type of protein is produced through a clever filtration process which means that the vast majority of the residual lactose is removed, leaving almost pure protein in its place.
Combining the right temperatures with a microscopic filter means that lactose and other unwanted components are selectively eliminated. While it is not guaranteed to completely eradicate lactose, its presence will be so small that those with an intolerance will not be impacted.
All of this means that people who want to take on plenty of protein in an efficient way as part of their fitness routine can still choose effective whey supplements without the hassle of having their digestion disrupted.
Obviously, if you cannot consume dairy products, there are positive and negative aspects to consider, especially from the point of view of fitness.
If lactose leaves you feeling bloated, you’re less likely to be in the mood to hit the gym or go out for a run. However, if you aren’t getting the positive nutritional ingredients of milk and cheese, then your body’s ability to capitalize on all the hard work you are doing will be restricted.
Taking supplements which are lactose-free is important, but exercising as a lactose intolerant person is about more than making sure you have plenty of protein in your diet; there are lots of other things to consider as well.
Calcium, for example, is provided in abundance by dairy products, so you need to make sure that you are getting this from other sources if lactose-rich foods are off the table.
You also need to remember to plan out your exercise routine according to the types of foods you have consumed, factoring both pre and post-workout snacking sessions that will give you enough energy to power through and then help your body recuperate in the aftermath.
Being lactose intolerant shouldn’t have any influence over the types of exercise you can embrace; there are even diets for bodybuilders who want to avoid dairy. For people who are more interested in stamina-based activities like running, carbohydrates are more important than lactose and are in plentiful supply in veg and grains.
Although you may need to restrict what you eat to avoid the side-effects of being unable to digest lactose correctly, it’s something that you can easily manage with the right diet and supplements once you know about it. This will leave you free to pursue whatever physical activity gets your blood pumping and puts a grin on your face, without the risk of an upset stomach hanging over you.