For many, the copious amounts of food and drink consumed on Super Bowl Sunday (combined with game-related stress) leads to complete havoc on the digestive system. Stomach aches, nausea, gas, bloating - all caused by the wings, beer, pizza and more.
Maybe this is part of why the day after the Super Bowl is one of the most common days people call out sick from work! But it’s not out of the question to recover from the chaos of game day and have "super bowels" that night and into the future.
We spoke with Rachel Engelhart, registered dietician and founder of RE Nutrition about how you can have "super bowels."
Prioritize Your Mental Health
There is still so much that we don't know about the gut-brain connection, but researchers and experts refer to the gut as the 'second brain' because it is evident that the two are deeply connected. As a clinician, Rachel sees so many clients who have a harder time tolerating certain foods when they struggle with anxiety, depression, and have elevated levels of stress. Ways to heal our mental health can include working with a mental health provider, meditating, prioritizing our needs, practicing more self compassion - and moving more.
Finding enjoyable ways to move our body helps with GI (gastrointestinal) motility and it helps reduce stress and improves mental health. This doesn't just mean exercise (though more intense activity is great), it could mean someone who is mostly sedentary making an effort to stand throughout the day. Truly, even just the act of sitting less could be helpful for GI motility and general health.
Eat A Diet Rich in Fiber
Whole grains, fruits, and veggies all pack a punch in terms of fiber. Breakfast is an especially easy time to increase fiber content as oatmeal, whole grain waffles, whole grain cereals, berries, nuts, and fruit all offer a higher fiber content which is more filling and also has a positive effect on our GI motility. On Super Bowl Sunday, this could mean including veggies and dip, whole grain crackers, guacamole, or chilli (which contains beans!) as part of your party spread.
Variety is Key
Eating a variety of foods helps our body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms. Foods like barley, oats, chicken, fish, quinoa, bulgur, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and miso contribute to more diverse gut flora, which helps with our immune response and contribute to a healthy gut microbiome thereby helping us achieve a 'super bowel'.
Hydration helps push food through our system, aids with digestion, and is important in preventing constipation. Note that water is one of the best fluids to hydrate with and - alcohol is dehydrating. Especially on Super Bowl Sunday, if you plan to partake in alcoholic offerings, make sure to alternate alcoholic beverages with water to stay properly hydrated.