IBS and Building Muscle

12th October * 2 min read

Building muscle is just as reliant on nutrition, absorbing calories, absorbing micronutrients and reducing poor gut health as what it is actually training and lifting weights. With this in mind, clients who suffer with IBS will naturally find it harder to build muscle and even drop body fat. After all, the more muscle you have (metabolically active tissue) the easier fat loss is.

Did you know that almost 1 in 5 people suffer with IBS according to Bupa?!

IBS has several signs and symptoms, some of them include diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, stomach cramps and so much more. All these symptoms can result in food choices becoming more difficult but more importantly it can result in your digestive system not functioning properly. The main concern here is the absorption of nutrients and the possibility of developing a permeable gut or a leaky gut. This would naturally result in fat loss and muscle building becoming more difficult as toxins / waste which ‘leaks’ from the digestive tract in to your system can cause inflammation.

Inflammation can slow down fat loss and even slow down muscle building!

With all this in mind, we have decided to outline 5 key tips for training with IBS and how to manage it effectively to get the best results possible. These tips are just a few things we discuss on our personal trainer courses and also during our nutrition qualifications, but hopefully they can help you, a friend or a relative who is struggling with IBS to manage it more effectively.

  • Reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume. Caffeine and alcohol are both stimulants and they can cause the bowel to contract, spasm or increase other IBS symptoms.
  • Increase the amount of water you drink as in most cases we don’t drink enough. Water will help calm the digestive system but also support soluble fibre in absorbing liquid throughout the digestive tract.
  • Identify what trigger foods upset YOUR bowel. Each IBS sufferer have different trigger foods which cause flare ups. With this in mind you should work out what foods upset your stomach and eliminate them immediately.
  • Remove as much ‘rubbish’ out of your diet as you possible can. Foods high in refined sugars, hydrogenated fats, and just outright ‘rubbish’ known as chemical s*** storms will cause flare ups and make the condition worse.
  • Arrange for a qualified nutritionist or an IBS specialist to develop an eating plan for you. Sometimes having structure like a pre-programmed nutrition plan can avoid you from binge eating, eating foods that will aggravate your stomach and it can also make sure that you are eating enough micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as these are equally important for gut and overall health.

If you suffer with IBS and want to drop body fat or increase the amount of muscle you have, you MUST fix or improve the IBS the best you can, otherwise your progress will be limited.

We hope you found this article helpful, please comment below and let us know what you think.

Alternatively, if one of our tutors can help you in anyway, please don’t hesitate in asking, we have vast amounts of experience with IBS and have helped our own clients over the years. At Fitness HQ we don’t just ‘teach’ qualifications but we practice what we preach.

Take it to the next level

We’re passionate about producing and developing industry leading fitness professionals and personal trainers.
Choose one of our fitness courses, get the qualifications you need and develop a successful career!

In affiliation with