Food Combinations

Posted: 23/04/2010

Food Combinations

The best programme in the world can be compromised by a poor nutrition regime. In fact, diet is 80% of the puzzle and training is 20%. To get the best out of your diet you need to make the best out of your digestion.

The foods you eat together can cause a problem with achieving optimal nutrition.

When your stomach starts to digest, it releases enzymes which help to break down and release the nutrients into your body. Each food type (protein, carbohydrate, fruit, starches, sugar etc) need different enzymes. The different enzymes can fight against each other and lead to problems with digestion. Protein needs an acidic environment to digest whereas carbohydrates need an alkaline environment. So, if you’ve eaten both then digestion slows and bloating/wind can occur. Fruit cannot be digested until after the protein and/or the carbohydrates have been digested first. This fruit can decompose and ferment in the stomach causing bloating, gas and indigestion. The longer and slower digestion takes; the more stomach problems can occur.

If digestion is slow then nutrient uptake will be slow. After training, your body needs efficient and effective refuelling and if your digestion is slowed this takes time. Hence your training gains may be affected.

So, to gain the most from your diet try following these guidelines below:

  • Eat proteins and complex carbohydrates separately.
  • When you eat protein meals, only eat one type of protein.


  • Take milk alone.
  • Eat fruit alone as a meal.
  • Eat acidic and sweet fruits separately.


  • Proteins with non starchy and mild starchy foods are a great combination (such as vegetables).
  • Carbohydrates with non starchy and mild starchy foods are a great combination (such as vegetables).
  • Give from 30 minutes to 2 hours between servings of different food types. It depends on the nature of the food (the denser the food the longer it takes).

By Mark Dopson
Fitness Professional
Reynolds @ Rainham



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