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Best Exercise For Leaky Gut

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Published By: Dr. Jeffrey Mark
Date: May 31, 2024

Leaky gut syndrome, characterized by an increased intestinal permeability, can be influenced by various lifestyle factors, including exercise. While exercise generally promotes health, the type and intensity of workouts can impact gut health significantly. This article explores the best exercises and practices to manage and improve symptoms of leaky gut, ensuring a balanced approach to physical activity.

Key Takeaways

  • Balance is crucial in exercise routines to avoid exacerbating leaky gut symptoms.
  • Incorporating supplements like probiotics, collagen, and L-glutamine can aid in gut repair and maintenance.
  • Moderate cardiovascular workouts are beneficial, but overtraining should be avoided.
  • Effective stress management and sufficient rest are essential for gut health.
  • Listening to your body's signals is key to preventing overexertion and supporting overall gut wellness.

1. Balanced Exercise

balanced exercise

When we talk about balanced exercise, we're referring to a workout regimen that incorporates a variety of physical activities—strength, endurance, flexibility, and power movements. It's crucial to maintain a moderate intensity most of the time, ideally around 70% or less of our maximum effort. This approach helps us enhance our gut health and avoid the negative impacts that high-intensity exercise can have on our gut.

A balanced exercise routine is not one-size-fits-all. It varies significantly depending on individual fitness levels and goals. For instance, a gym enthusiast might engage in three days of varied workouts followed by a day of recovery or active rest, then repeat the cycle.

Additionally, it's important to remember that more exercise is not necessarily better. The key is to find a routine that supports gut health without overexerting ourselves. This can include integrating recovery tactics to minimize damage to the gut, especially for those who are highly active in cardio-based activities.

2. Probiotics with Collagen and L-Glutamine


To fully optimize your gut health while exercising, we recommend adding a probiotic with collagen and L-glutamine. This combination not only helps in reinoculating and repairing the gut but also supports overall health. Collagen and L-glutamine play crucial roles in maintaining the integrity of the gut lining and promoting the regeneration of gut cells.

Why This Combination?

  • Probiotics help maintain a healthy gut flora, essential for a balanced digestive system.
  • Collagen provides the necessary amino acids like proline and hydroxyproline, which are vital for the repair and growth of the gut lining.
  • L-glutamine is an amino acid that supports a healthy gut barrier and is crucial for repairing leaky gut. It also aids in muscle synthesis and maintaining blood glucose levels.

By incorporating these supplements into your routine, you can ensure that your gut is well-equipped to handle the stresses of exercise and recover more effectively.

3. Moderate Cardiovascular Workouts

Cardiovascular Workouts

Engaging in moderate cardiovascular workouts is essential for maintaining a healthy gut. Moderate exercise is key, as it allows you to maintain a conversation while working out, indicating the right intensity level for gut health benefits. We recommend activities such as walking, cycling, or yoga, aiming for a heart rate of 50 to 70% of your maximum. This level of exercise not only supports cardiovascular health but also directs more blood to your gut, reducing inflammation and enhancing overall gut function.

Here’s how we can incorporate moderate cardiovascular workouts into our routine:

  • Aim for 30 to 45 minutes of activities like jogging, cycling, or swimming.
  • Schedule these sessions at least twice a week.
  • Ensure the pace is challenging yet maintainable throughout the workout.

By integrating moderate cardiovascular workouts into our lives, we support our gut health and contribute to our overall well-being.

4. Stress Management Techniques


We understand that managing stress is crucial not just for mental health but also for maintaining a healthy gut. Practicing stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or spending time in nature can significantly support gut health. These activities help modulate oxidative and inflammatory stress, which are vital for a well-functioning gut.

Managing stress is crucial for both mental health and maintaining a healthy gut. Practicing stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or spending time in nature can significantly support gut health. These activities help modulate oxidative and inflammatory stress, which are vital for a well-functioning gut. Engaging in regular stress management activities can curb cortisol levels, enhancing both mental and physical health.

Here are some effective techniques we recommend:

  • Yoga: Helps in reducing anxiety and improving gut health.
  • Meditation: Enhances mental clarity and reduces stress.
  • Deep Breathing Exercises: These can immediately lower stress levels.
  • Spending Time in Nature: This can help in resetting your mental state and reducing stress.

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5. Adequate Rest and Recovery


We understand that rest and recovery are crucial components of any effective exercise regimen, especially when addressing issues like leaky gut. Adequate rest helps in the regeneration of the gut lining and supports overall digestive health. It's not just about the quantity of rest, but also the quality that matters.

  • Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
  • Naps: Short naps of 20-30 minutes can help rejuvenate the body without entering deep sleep cycles.
  • Active Rest Days: Incorporate days where light activities such as walking or gentle yoga are performed to keep the body active yet allow it to recover.

Emphasizing rest does not mean halting all activities. It's about balancing active days with recovery periods to optimize gut health and overall well-being.

6. Collagen Protein Supplementation

We understand the importance of collagen protein in maintaining a healthy gut, especially for those of us who engage in regular exercise. Collagen protein is packed with essential amino acids that are vital for repairing and strengthening the gut lining. This makes it an excellent choice for managing leaky gut syndrome.

Collagen protein not only supports the gut but also aids in muscle recovery and joint health. This is due to its high content of amino acids like glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, which are crucial for tissue repair and regeneration. By incorporating collagen protein into our diet, we can ensure that our gut health is optimized, which in turn supports our overall well-being and exercise performance.

To maximize the benefits, it's recommended to supplement with a high-quality collagen protein that is easy to digest and absorb. This will help in effectively restoring the gut lining and enhancing gut health.

Here are some key benefits of collagen protein supplementation:

  • Enhances gut lining repair
  • Supports muscle recovery
  • Improves joint health
  • Boosts overall well-being

7. Mindful Movement Practices

In our journey to improve gut health, we often overlook the power of mindful movement practices. These include activities like yoga, tai chi, and breathwork, which not only enhance physical fitness but also promote mental well-being and digestive health.


Yoga connects breath with movement, making it a perfect practice for those of us looking to ease digestive issues such as bloating and constipation. Specific poses like the Child’s pose allow the stomach to relax, promoting ease in the gut.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi, rooted in Chinese philosophy, aims to improve the flow of energy throughout the body and is known for its low-impact yet effective approach to maintaining balance and flexibility. This practice can decrease stress and support gut function, crucial for our overall health.


Integrating breathwork into our routine can significantly impact our digestive system. By focusing on deep, controlled breathing, we can foster a calm environment that supports gut healing and reduces symptoms like gas and belching.

By incorporating these mindful movement practices into our daily lives, we can achieve a more balanced and healthy digestive system, which is essential for our overall well-being.

8. Hydration and Nutrition

Proper hydration and nutrition are crucial for maintaining a healthy gut, especially when engaging in physical activities. Hydrate before you train to prevent exacerbation of gut issues such as nausea and bloating. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces daily, and consider supplementing with trace minerals to replenish what is lost through sweat.

Eating a balanced diet is equally important. Focus on consuming easy-to-digest carbohydrates and proteins during exercise to support your gut health. A varied and colorful diet will provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics needed to support your "good" gut bacteria and improve overall gut health.

Remember, both hydration and proper nutrition are key pillars in supporting gut health and enhancing your exercise performance.

9. Low-Intensity Strength Training

When we talk about managing leaky gut, low-intensity strength training plays a crucial role. This type of exercise includes activities that are less strenuous on the body, making it ideal for those with digestive issues. It generally increases your heart rate to about 50% of its maximum capacity, which is gentle enough to prevent undue stress on your intestinal barrier.

Here are some examples of low-intensity exercises that can be beneficial:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Low-impact strength training
  • Stretching
  • Rowing

Incorporating these activities into our routine helps maintain muscle tone and overall health without overtaxing the body. Especially for those of us dealing with digestive health issues, it's important to choose exercises that support rather than strain our systems.

10. Listening to Your Body

When we talk about managing a leaky gut, listening to your body is crucial. This involves being attuned to the signals your body sends about what it needs and doesn't need. Here are some key practices:

  • Eating a varied and colorful diet to ensure you get adequate vitamins, minerals, fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics.
  • Engaging in exercise that works for you, whether it's yoga, walking, or more intense activities, depending on how you feel.
  • Staying hydrated is essential for overall gut health.
  • Managing stress and anxiety through meditation, breathwork, or regular consultations with a mental health professional.
  • Creating a supportive environment, which includes nurturing positive relationships and maintaining a safe and healthy home.

By tuning into your body's needs, you can better manage your gut health and overall well-being.


In conclusion, while exercise offers numerous health benefits, it is crucial to approach it with balance, especially when dealing with leaky gut syndrome. Over-exercising can exacerbate gut issues, but the right amount of exercise, combined with proper nutrition and supplements like Collagen Protein, L-Glutamine, and Probiotics, can significantly improve gut health. Remember to listen to your body's needs and incorporate rest days to allow for recovery. By adopting a balanced approach to exercise and gut health, you can enjoy the benefits of physical activity without compromising your digestive health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of exercise for leaky gut?

The best type of exercise for leaky gut is balanced exercise, which avoids excessive strain on the gut microbiome. It's important to not overdo it, as repetitive and strenuous exercise can be harmful.

How can probiotics, collagen, and L-Glutamine help with leaky gut?

Adding a probiotic with collagen and L-Glutamine supports gut health by following the 4R approach: remove, replace, reinoculate, and repair. These supplements help maintain a healthy gut environment.

Is there a direct connection between exercise and leaky gut?

Yes, there is a connection. Excessive exercise can lead to increased gut permeability, also known as leaky gut, by causing ischemic injury due to reduced blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract.

What are the benefits and risks of exercise on gut health?

Exercise offers numerous benefits like improved cardiovascular health and balanced hormones. However, too much exercise can lead to gut issues such as constipation, bloating, and leaky gut.

How can I protect my gut health during exercise?

To protect your gut health during exercise, it's crucial to balance the intensity of workouts, include adequate rest, and supplement with probiotics, collagen, and L-Glutamine as needed.

What should I do if I experience symptoms of leaky gut from exercise?

If you experience symptoms like abdominal pain or bloating from exercise, it's important to reduce exercise intensity, increase rest, and consider adding gut-supporting supplements like probiotics and collagen. It is also important to check in with your physician to assess your exercise-induced discomfort.

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Dr. Jeffrey Mark
With over thirty years of experience, Dr. Mark is a leading expert in holistic gut health. His integrative approach combines conventional medicine, functional and regenerative medicine, and advanced therapies to heal the gut and transform patient health. Holding 5 board certifications, Dr. Mark offers the comprehensive expertise of five medical specialists during each patient visit. He is dedicated to optimizing wellbeing by addressing the gut-related root causes of chronic health issues.
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