This may be an unpopular opinion, but you do not need over-the-counter medications to fix digestive issues. Leading brands like Tums, Pepcid, Miralax, Metamucil, etc. are advertised for “quick and effective relief”, but often fail to address the underlying issue—missed connections in our digestive tract.
These medications absolutely do work and serve their purpose, but they are not sustainable options that support long-term health. In fact, numerous studies show prolonged use of these products actually triggers a more severe reaction after stopping continued use (but that science is for another time).
In my practice, I always stand for real-life, achievable solutions. Simple shifts that are easy to implement, without completely overhauling your daily routine—which would cause even more stress on the body.
When it comes to improving digestion, this same mindset applies. Over the next few days, see how many of these shifts you can implement into your daily routine, layering one upon the other. I’d love to see your daily progress via email or social media, and hear how it goes!
Here’s an easy 5-day plan to improving digestive flow:
DAY 1: Drink 16oz water upon waking
Give your system a wake-up call! Quickly drinking 16oz. of lukewarm water (roughly one full, tall glass) is an incredible way to send a flush of water through your GI tract, as well as add hydration to offset the impact of your morning coffee. For the easiest drinking, fill up a glass before bed and let it rest overnight.
DAY 2: Eat vegetables first
Digestion starts at the sight of food. So in the amount of time it takes to prep, cook or heat a plate—your digestive enzymes will rise to optimal levels. Eating vegetables first gives the body the most power to break down fibrous foods more thoroughly, while also helping you intuitively crowd out less nutrient-dense foods.
DAY 3: Cut all caffeine by 10am (not just coffee!)
We all know that caffeine is a stimulant, but we aren’t aware of its 12-hour half-life. Meaning, that 2pm vanilla latte or afternoon Celsius is still triggering increased gut mobility at 2am when our body should be in rest mode. Limiting caffeine to a short morning window will decrease the chance of heartburn, bloating, stomach cramps or poo issues later in the evening, as well as increase the process of detoxification while our bodies are asleep.
DAY 4: Limit liquids 30min. before mealtimes
Piggybacking off tip #2, drinking liquids before meals dilutes the power of digestive enzymes—especially when the liquids include sugars (ie= cocktails and wine). When drinking before meals, do your best to limit the size and frequency of sips, and stick to water, if possible. Adding acidities like lemon or lime will help counteract the loss of digestive potency.
DAY 5: Get consistent with nightly probiotic
The thing with probiotics is, they only work when you take them—and the benefits take consistency to appear. Incorporating a shelf-stable supplement into your nightly routine ensures there is enough space between your last meal for optimal absorption, and maximum effectiveness for the bugs to go to work while you sleep. You’ll need a glass of water to take it, so fill it up and leave it out, putting you in the perfect position to habit stack tip #1.
As always, food provides us with information. If you implement these tips and don’t see any improvements in digestion, there may be some deeper work to do. If you’re ready for strategic nutrition help or curious to learn more, book a one-on-one strategy call. Use code NOURISHED to save!