Why Every Athlete Should Care About FODMAPs

Tracking what you eat to alleviate gut issues such as IBS is the key to maintaining the energy you need for the performance you want.

FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) are commonly eaten short-carbohydrates and sugar alcohols, which can negatively affect someone's gut—especially if they have stomach issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS.)

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IBS is a disorder that affects the large intestine with gas, diarrhea and abdominal pain. When eaten, FODMAPs can make these symptoms worse. STACK talked to sports dietician Leslie Bonci to find out what foods are FODMAPs and what needs to be done if you are affected by them.

Fructans

Fructans are oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, indigestible carbohydrates found in a variety of foods such as whole wheat bread, beans, the cabbage family (e.g., broccoli and cauliflower), and even high-fiber cereals.

Disaccharides

These are primarily found in milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and other cheeses.

Monosaccharides

These are primarily fruit. This can be a challenge to many athletes because fruit is good for you.

Polyols

These are mainly sugar alcohols that can be found in sorbitol and mannitol, which are typically added to sugar-free foods. Polyols can also be found in erythritol, which is used as an artificial sweetener.

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The best thing you can do to deal with FODMAPs is to track everything you eat and work with a registered dietician. Dealing with FODMAPs can be complicated. Eliminating them means taking certain foods out of your diet, but after awhile you can gradually add them back in. Determining what to eat to alleviate gut issues such as IBS is the key to maintaining the energy you need for the performance you want.

To learn more about FODMAPs, check out the video above.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: DIET | CARBOHYDRATES | FRUIT | SUGARS