Tailgating Tips for Optimal Gut Health
“He’s at the 30, the 20, the 10, could it be a-, it must be, it’s a TOUCHDOWN!!”
It’s that time of year again friends!
Chicken wings, war paint, fantasy leagues, and tailgating just to name a few of the best reasons for football season.
Supporting your favorite team with fellow fans can become some of the most memorable times of the year.
Few things are better than the family that is created through a shared love or rivalry.
Other than a losing record there really isn’t anything that bad about this time of year.
Except for the havoc you could be wreaking on your microbiome.
Tailgating’s Effects on Your Gut
Tailgating is a blast.
Nothing beats getting together with your pals and playing games, stuffing your faces with delicious, greasy foods, and getting pumped in the parking lot before a big game.
But the price your gut could be paying might not be so worth it.
Some of the main problems with tailgating (or football season habits in general) include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Drinking inadequate amounts of water
- Eating unhealthy foods
- Not eating enough fibrous foods
- Bad eating patterns (not eating and then binge eating)
- Not moving around enough
Any combination of these things can lead to a sour stomach and essentially a disrupted microbiome.
However, you don’t have to experience these complications.
Below we have a list of some different techniques you can use to make this football season the best for you and your gut!
Atrantil’s Top Tailgating Tips for Good Gut Health
Make Healthy Food Trades
Just because it’s customary to have the greasiest, cheesiest, drippiest foods possible doesn’t mean you have no other options.
It isn’t worth it.
Sure one day out of the year won’t kill you, but it sure does make it hard to stick to your healthy choices once you go off the rails for one cheat day.
Sure there are some staples that you can’t get rid of, but there are ways to make them healthier choices.
So trade ‘this’ for ‘that’.
|Pulled chicken||Pulled Pork|
|Veggie Salads with Protein||Potato/Pasta Salad|
|Turkey/Black Bean Burgers||Beef Burgers|
|Chicken/Turkey Dogs||Hot dogs|
|Sparkling Water with Fruit||Soda|
|Grilled Fruits||Sweet snacks|
Some of these will take some getting used to since they’re much less greasy and sodium-filled than their unhealthier counterparts.
However, your gut and rest of your body will thank you for the time-out.
Bench the Fryer
Sure batter-covered, greasy foods are delicious. Just writing this has our mouths watering too. But again, it isn’t worth it.
Greasy foods destroy your body and are typically low in nutritional value.
A better option is to grill your foods.
Marinades can offer a ton of flavor and they actually protect your food from the toxic fumes grilling has been found to give off.
Using marinades that are vinegar-based and that have herbs in them give your body polyphenols and protection from potential carcinogens.
Unfortunately one of the most beloved marinades, BBQ sauce, isn’t a very healthy choice. Because of its high sugar levels, it can actually increase the number of chemicals you are exposed to.
Marinated and grilled chicken is your best choice when tailgating. You get the extra flavor, the extra nutritional qualities, much less fat, and you can make it into an easy-to-eat skewer.
Polyphenol-Filled Foods for the Win
Polyphenols are found in high quantities in foods that come from plants.
Bark, roots, flowers, leaves, seeds, and skins all contain polyphenols.
During your time tailgating polyphenols can help with the following:
- Protect the body from organ damage and hangovers that alcohol can cause
- Protect skin from UV damage from the sun
- Help with energy levels
- Increase nutrient intake
- Decrease reactive oxygen species that unhealthy food choices can create
Some foods you can pack that are full of polyphenols include:
Let’s be honest here, one of the best parts of tailgating is guzzling down cold brewskies and playing drinking games in the hot sun with your friends.
Hangovers the next day aren’t fun at all. Keeping hydrated and loading up on polyphenols helps to prevent that horrible feeling.
Drinking water between beers will help to avoid those nasty feelings the next day and will keep your body functioning properly.
This will help your digestion and keep your muscles feeling healthy and not cramp up.
Keep Foods at Healthy Temperatures
Make sure you pack coolers with plenty of ice for foods that need to remain cold until cooked or that need to stay cold until consumed.
Keeping crock pots and other food heating devices to keep food that should stay hot, warmed.
If you’re unsure if your food is at a good temperature, check to make sure it’s still at a safe temperature to know that unwanted bacteria haven’t grown.
Set Food Goals Ahead of Time
If you’re trying to stay on the healthy path, but don’t want to completely miss out on all of your football favorites, set some goals for yourself.
If you really want some cookies, potato chips, or queso make sure to let those be an afterthought.
Fill yourself up on some fresh fruits, veggies, and lean proteins so you don’t want to overindulge on sweets.
Setting goals like this will allow you to partake in your favorite foods but won’t totally derail your healthy habits.
Just like during the holidays, it’s so easy to overeat and feel sluggish at a tailgate.
Get your body moving!
Even just a small game of catch or frisbee can be enough to help your blood get moving and help your body to digest your food.
It’ll also help you to not feel so bloated the next day.
Just like you want your team to hustle, make sure you keep yourself moving so you aren’t feeling tired and heavy for the game.
Prep Your Gut
Get your daily dose of probiotic foods and prebiotics before you head out.
Taking probiotic foods and prebiotics will help your intestinal wall to remain strong and prevent IP.
Doing this will allow you to eat and drink what you want with less worry.
Pack a dip with a Greek yogurt base for your veggies.
Take your Atrantil.
And you are game ready!!