6 Signs That You’re Not Eating Enough Fiber
We’ve all heard about the importance of getting enough protein to help build muscles, the importance of carbs to help fuel our bodies, and the importance of fat for pretty much every other bodily function – but one thing that definitely needs to hold an equal amount of importance on your plate is fiber and very important symptoms that signal the lack of fiber in your body. Read along to Identify the dangerous signs of low fiber diet.
What is fiber?
Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate. Most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, but fiber passes through your body without being digested. Fiber is what helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and keeps your hunger and blood sugar levels in check.
There are two kinds of dietary fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber does not. When dissolved, soluble fiber forms a thick gel-like substance in the stomach. It is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. Soluble fiber is what helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve; instead, it passes through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact. This type of fiber helps food move efficiently through your digestive system, promotes bowel regularity and prevents constipation.
As mentioned above, fiber is necessary for your gut and digestive health. For athletic purposes, your gut and digestive health are foundational building blocks of a high-performance lifestyle. Think about it: No one wants to work out feeling bloated or uncomfortably full. These feelings can get in the way of your workout, but fiber helps counteract this effect.
An increase in soluble fiber is linked to blood glucose stabilisation. The short chain fatty acids making up fiber also directly affect glycogen release in the liver. The glycogen stores in the liver account for around 14% of the body’s available energy stores. This means that getting proper amounts of fiber leads to more consistent energy supply — key for top performance.
How much fiber do you need per day?
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the Daily Value for fiber is 28 grams per day, or about 14 grams per 1000 calories. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2015-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, most Americans only eat about half the daily recommended amount; in fact, 95% of Americans never meet the recommended intake level. For optimal performance, you should aim to meet the Daily Value and get around 28 grams of fiber per day, though factors such as disease risk should be taken in consideration when figuring out recommended intake.
Not only does getting proper amounts of fiber help your sports performance, the Cleveland Clinic notes that people who eat between 25-29 grams of fiber per day also see a 15-30% decrease in their risk of colon cancer, as well as the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
High fiber foods: Which foods contain fiber in high amounts?
There are tons of foods that are naturally high in fiber. You can find soluble fiber in foods like nuts, lentils, oatmeal, beans, peas, apples, pears and berries. Insoluble fiber is found in foods like whole wheat bread, brown rice, wheat bran, legumes, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.
While fiber is found naturally in foods like whole grains, starches, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, it’s also commonly added to snack foods like cookies and granola bars. Chances are, you’ve probably seen a box of cereal advertising “great source of fiber!” despite the fact that this type of food actually contains little to no fiber naturally. The fiber in these types of snack products are usually isolated fibers that are synthetically made using chemicals.
What’s the point of adding fiber to these foods? As you know, the Daily Value for dietary fiber is 28 grams per day, but most Americans only get about 16 grams per day, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Companies know that fiber is part of a gut-healthy diet, so they add fiber to appeal to nutrient-conscious consumers.
However, you don’t have to only get fiber from foods — sports nutrition companies like Gainful offer fiber supplements. Gainful’s Fiber Performance Boost includes a scientist-recommended dosage of beta glucan, which is a heart-healthy soluble fiber that is derived from oat fiber. This type of fiber serves as food for the probiotics that maintain healthy balances of bacteria.
The Fiber Performance Boost rounds out a complete nutrition system, so athletes can get the nutrients they need to make the most of their workouts. You can start by taking Gainful’s quiz. From there, a team of experts will review your answers and recommend formulas based on your body and your life. You’ll receive a customized Protein Powder blend, Pre-Workout and Hydration Formula, as well as recommendations for Performance Boosts. Gainful protein powder blends include 1 gram of fiber (5% DV), but for added fiber intake, you can add Gainful’s Fiber Performance Boost. The Fiber Performance Boost is able to help provide additional nutrient absorption and satiation, which allows you to reach your fitness goals faster and more efficiently. Individuals who are limiting whole grains in their diet may experience B vitamin losses and fiber losses, so Gainful’s Fiber Performance Boost can also help make up for the lack of fiber. You can also blend your personalized protein powder with frozen fruits, vegetables or oats for a delicious way to get extra fiber and nutrients from whole foods.
Your Fiber Performance Boost is flexibly dosed based on your quiz answers and can be easily added onto your next Gainful order. From the Fiber Performance Boost to the protein powders, pre-workout and hydration formulas, each Gainful product contains science-backed ingredients that are added specifically for your needs, serving as a testament to Gainful’s commitment to personalization.
Fiber deficiency symptoms
There are six main signs of fiber deficiency:
- Hunger after meals
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- High cholesterol
- Fatigue/low energy
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may want to track your fiber intake. Once you increase your fiber intake, keep tabs on whether any of these symptoms go away. If they disappear or are alleviated, that might mean you were experiencing a fiber deficiency and needed more fiber-rich foods in your diet.
Best Pre Workout Supplements
- Elm & Rye Pre Workout
- AstroFlav Flip Mode Pre Workout
- Naturally Sweetened Pre JYM
- Be Empowered Pre Workout
- Hardbody Supplements Ripped to Shredz Stimulant and Caffeine Free Preworkout
- Legion Energy Surge Energy Supplement
- ATH Pre Workout
A lack of fiber in your diet can result in a number of adverse health effects. If you’re not eating enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — which are all excellent sources of dietary fiber — then it’s time to make some changes. Adding more fiber to your diet is important for maintaining gut health, as well as regulating blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
Here are 25 signs that you may be deficient in fiber:
1. Feeling constantly tired and sluggish.
If you’re not getting enough fiber, you’re likely not getting the nutrients your body needs to function properly. This can lead to feelings of fatigue and low energy levels.
In addition, fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This prevents spikes in blood sugar that can leave you feeling tired and fatigued afterward.
2. Experiencing mood swings
If you’re not getting enough fiber, you may find yourself experiencing more mood swings. This is because fiber helps to regulate the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation.
A lack of fiber can also lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as irritability and restlessness.
3. Having trouble focusing or feeling mentally foggy
Fiber is essential for gut health, and a healthy gut has been linked with improved cognitive function. A lack of fiber can lead to an imbalance in gut bacteria, which has been linked with cognitive problems like brain fog, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.
In addition, fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels and provides the body with a slow and steady source of energy. This can help to improve focus and concentration.
4. Struggling with chronic constipation or diarrhea
One of the most common signs of fiber deficiency is chronic constipation or diarrhea. This is because fiber helps to add bulk to the stool and generally keeps the digestive system regular.
A lack of fiber can also lead to other digestive problems like bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.
5. Suffering from abdominal pain or cramps
Abdominal pain and cramps are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because fiber helps to keep the digestive system regular and prevents constipation.
6. Experiencing unexplained weight gain or loss.
A lack of fiber can lead to weight gain or weight loss. This is because fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels and appetite.
In addition, a lack of fiber can lead to constipation, which can cause bloating and weight gain. On the other hand, diarrhea can cause weight loss.
7. Developing skin conditions such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis.
Skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis are often caused by inflammation. A lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen skin conditions.
8. Losing your hair or having thinning hair.
Hair loss can be a sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to an imbalance in hormones, which can cause hair loss.
In addition, a lack of fiber can also lead to anemia, which is a condition that causes thinning hair.
9. Developing a dry mouth and/or eyes.
Dry mouth and eyes are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to dehydration, which can cause these symptoms.
In addition, a lack of fiber can also lead to an imbalance in electrolytes, which can cause dry mouth and eyes.
10. Having a constant metallic taste in your mouth.
A metallic taste in your mouth is another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to an imbalance in electrolytes, which can cause this symptom.
11. Suffering from insomnia or difficulty staying asleep.
Insomnia and difficulty staying asleep are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to an imbalance in hormones, which can cause these symptoms.
In addition, a lack of fiber can also lead to anxiety and stress, which can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
12. Experiencing tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to an imbalance in electrolytes, which can cause this symptom.
13. Developing joint pain or arthritis symptoms.
Joint pain and arthritis are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
14. Experiencing extreme thirst and/or frequent urination.
Extreme thirst and frequent urination are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to dehydration, which can cause these symptoms.
In addition, a lack of fiber can also lead to an imbalance in electrolytes, which can cause extreme thirst and frequent urination.
15. Having a low libido.
A low libido is another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to an imbalance in hormones, which can cause this symptom.
16. Feeling weak and lightheaded when standing up quickly.
Feeling weak and lightheaded when standing up quickly is another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to anemia, which can cause these symptoms.
In addition, a lack of fiber can also lead to low blood pressure, which can make you feel lightheaded when standing up quickly.
17. Struggling with chronic leg pain or swelling.
Chronic leg pain or swelling is another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
18. Experiencing heartburn or GERD symptoms often.
Heartburn and GERD (acid reflux) are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
19. Suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or other gut health issues.
IBS and other gut health issues are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
20. Developing diabetes or other blood sugar problems.
Diabetes and other blood sugar problems are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
21. Experiencing frequent headaches or migraines.
Frequent headaches and migraines are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
22. Having trouble digesting dairy products and other common food allergens.
Trouble digesting dairy products and other common food allergens is another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
23. Feeling bloated and gassy often.
Bloating and gas are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
24. Suffering from chronic sinus infections or congestion.
Chronic sinus infections or congestion are another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
25. Having trouble swallowing.
Trouble swallowing is another common sign of fiber deficiency. This is because a lack of fiber can lead to inflammation throughout the body, which can trigger or worsen these conditions.
These are just a few of the many signs that you may be deficient in fiber. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to increase your fiber intake. Fiber is an important nutrient for overall health, and a lack of it can lead to serious health problems. Don’t let fiber deficiency take over your life – make sure to get enough of this important nutrient!
How can pre workout help with fiber deficiency?
Adding a pre workout supplement to your diet can help increase your fiber intake. Pre workout supplements are typically high in fiber, which can help you meet your daily needs. In addition, pre workout supplements can also help improve digestion and gut health, both of which are important for preventing and treating fiber deficiency.
If you’re looking for a way to increase your fiber intake, consider adding a pre workout supplement to your diet. Pre workout supplements are a great way to get the fiber you need, and they can also help improve digestion and gut health. Talk to your doctor about whether pre workout supplements are right for you.
1. Elm & Rye Pre Workout
Elm & Rye pre-Workout products include adaptogens and other scientifically studied components to improve performance, endurance, attention, and strength. The caffeine, beta Alanine, ashwagandha, B12, reishi, and coenzyme Q10 combination is designed to help with concentration during exercise by boosting energy and concentration while also promoting muscular growth.
2. AstroFlav Flip Mode Pre Workout
Flip Mode was created with athletes in mind. The comprehensive blend of clinically proven ingredients will take your energy, focus, strength, performance, and results to an all-new level – perfect for anyone seeking a boost during their next workout session!
Flip Mode’s extended-release energy blend is as good as it gets in the market today. With a 550 mg extended-release energy complex, you’ll be buzzed fast, keep buzzing for hours, and won’t crash.
The tub contains 6 grams of Citrulline Malate, 500 grams of Agmatine Sulfate nitric oxide complex, and 50 milligrams of Ephedrine HCI. This will provide a long-lasting full pump and increase muscular endurance. Increase Nitric Oxide will improve strength, promote muscle growth, enhance muscle pump, and improved overall performance.
3. Naturally Sweetened Pre JYM
Pre JYM is a cutting-edge pre-workout supplement that contains clinically effective doses of all the best ingredients to help you reach your fitness goals.
The formula includes Creatine Monohydrate, Beta-Alanine, and L-Citrulline DL Malate – which have all been shown to improve performance in athletes. Pre JYM is also naturally sweetened with Stevia, so you don’t have to worry about any artificial flavors or colors.
4. Be Empowered Pre Workout
For gym-goers who want an energy boost without the jitters, there’s BeNu Pre-Workout! They made it low-stim to avoid weird side effects like skin flush and tingling, stomach cramps, and a post-workout crash. Their pre-workout is also formulated with quality ingredients like green coffee, green tea, and turmeric to leave you feeling energized without any negative repercussions.
If you’re seeking a product loaded with artificial caffeine and stimulants that will leave your weights trembling on the bar, look elsewhere. But if you want to power through your workout while still enjoying the rest of your day, Be Empowered Pre-Workout is precisely what you need!
5. Hardbody Supplements Ripped to Shredz Stimulant and Caffeine Free Preworkout
Shredz Preworkout Formula will enhance your workout and provide natural energy to help you build lean muscle, without any negative side effects. It is 100% stimulant-free (no caffeine!) and uses electrolytes and organic stevia for clean energy instead.
This is the supplement to use if you want to lose weight and gain muscle while consuming only natural pure electricity. The product is both safe and efficient, with no carbohydrates, sugars, calories, or artificial colors.
6. Legion Energy Surge Energy Supplement
Do you always feel tired? Feeling like you could do more if you only had more energy? Lack of energy is a common issue, which is only compounded by stress. Now, there’s a solution – Legion Energy Surge!
Legion Energy Surge is an all-natural energy supplement that provides the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, and herbs to help you feel more energetic and alert. With just one serving, you’ll be able to power through your day without feeling fatigued.
Plus, Legion Energy Surge is also perfect for those who are seeking a boost in their workout performance. The energy blend will help you push harder and longer, so you can see the results you want!
7. ATH Pre Workout
ATH Pre Workout Supplement is the perfect choice for those who are looking for a clean and effective energy boost. The formula includes clinically-proven ingredients that will improve your performance in the gym, including Creatine Monohydrate, Beta-Alanine, and L-Citrulline DL Malate.
Plus, ATH Pre Workout is also naturally sweetened with Stevia, so you don’t have to worry about any artificial flavors or colors. If you’re seeking a product that will help you reach your fitness goals, ATH Pre Workout is the perfect choice!
Soluble VS Insoluble:
There’s different kinds of fiber? Yes! While both soluble and insoluble fiber are important, there’s a slight difference between the two.
Soluble fiber dissolves and creates a gel that can help improve digestion and let’s say, move things along. An example of this type of fiber would be our Whole Psyllium Flakes. If you’ve ever added it to your smoothies, you’ll know that it can thicken it up pretty quickly. Soluble fiber has the same effect once it’s in your body, helping to bulk up everything else you’ve consumed. Soluble fiber is also metabolized by the good bacteria in your gut, acting as a PREbiotic (yes, just like our yacon syrup!)
On the other hand, insoluble fiber attracts water into your stool, helping to soften it up and making it easier to pass. This type of fiber helps to promote healthy bowel movements and regularity. You’ll find insoluble fiber in nuts, beans, potatoes, and even cauliflower.
Which one’s best? Both!
It’s important to get enough soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet in case of having symptoms of not enough fiber, since they can work together to keep you feeling full, and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract all while helping to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Benefits of a Fiber Rich Diet:
- Regular bowel movements
- Optimal bowel health
- Healthy cholesterol levels
- Healthy blood sugar levels
- Regulated weight
- Promotes gut health
Fiber At Every Meal:
There’s an opportunity to incorporate fiber at every single meal and get rid of symptoms of not enough fiber- here’s how:
If you notice lack of fiber symptoms, one of the best ways to improve your health is to start your day with a healthy organic smoothie. When you’re making smoothies for breakfast, spinach or kale can be a good source of fiber (and you’re getting a serving of veg!) or you could try adding a serving of our sprouted chia flax. You’ll be getting 16% of your RDI of fiber in one serving alone! You can also sprinkle it on top of your oatmeal, chia pudding, smoothie bowls, or even on top of a salad. We also like to opt for fresh fruit first thing in the morning, so whether you’re blending it up in your smoothie or eating it whole, you’re getting fiber + water + micronutrients. What a way to start the day and fight the lack of fiber symptoms! One of our favorite ways to ensure we’re getting at least 23% of our RDI of fiber is by adding a serving of our Fiber Fuel Smoothie Boosts to our smoothies! These superfood-packed smoothie boosters in three flavors: original with lucuma, baobab and maca, berry with acai, blueberry, maqui, and camu camu and chocolate with cacao, lion’s mane and maca, pack a fiber punch thanks to their base of chia, flax, acacia and psyllium. Add it to your morning smoothie or oats for a nutritious and energizing start to your day.
If you’re having a salad for lunch you’re already getting fiber from your leafy greens of choice (the darker, the better!) but to take it one step further try adding some beans like chickpeas or even lentils for a boost of fiber. Not into salads? Whole grains contain good amounts of fiber too! Try having a sprouted quinoa bowl with some roasted veggies or even a sandwich made with sprouted whole grains to avoid any signs of low fiber diet.
If you’re eating a balanced meal at dinner, it’ll hopefully include some sort of vegetable. All vegetables contain fiber, but some more than others. Vegetables that are high in fiber include artichokes, brussels sprouts, cooked carrots, and broccoli – but don’t focus too much on these as it’s important that you also get your fiber from a good variety of foods! In case of having lack of fiber symptoms, it’s also good to keep in mind that steamed/cooked vegetables contain more fiber than raw vegetables and cooked veggies are often easier to digest as a whole.
There’s always room for fiber in your snacks!! When it comes to snacking, the amount of fiber in your snack of choice plays a huge role in how full you actually get from it. High fiber snacks will carry you between meals and will ensure you’re not overeating at the same time. Our favorite high fiber snacks are organic dried fruits (and fresh of course!), seeds (think chia, flax, pumpkin, and baru seeds), nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), and popcorn (homemade is the best!).
You are fiber deficient if you have the following symptoms:
You Are Constipated
Fiber absorbs water that leads to softer stool that is easier to pass through the digestive system. Also, it cleans the gut of leftover food particles in the cleaning process. Its deficiency always leads to constipation.
You Are Always Hungry
Fiber expands by absorbing water leading to a feeling of fullness. Also, it breaks down slowly and gradually so your stomach doesn’t empty early and you have no hunger pangs. If you feel hungry soon after eating your meal, you are fiber deficient.
You Have High Cholesterol
Soluble fiber cleans the body of cholesterol before it gets deposited in the arteries. A British Medical Journal report claims 7 grams of fiber daily can reduce the risk of heart disease by 9%. If you are fiber deficient, you are likely to have high cholesterol.
You Have Hemorrhoids
Fiber allows stool to easily pass through the rectum by making it softer and bulkier. But a deficiency of fiber could lead to sticky stool that you need to push through the rectum and anus. The pressure exerted to create bowel movement can develop swollen and painful veins in the lower part of the body called hemorrhoids.
You Feel Tired All The Time
Slow digestive fiber prevents frequent spikes and crashes of blood sugar by maintaining the balance of blood sugar in the body. But a fiber deficiency could result in loss of energy leading to tired ad sluggish feelings all day.
You Are Gaining Weight
A fiber-rich diet will keep you full all day preventing overeating that could lead to unnecessary weight gain. But a fiber-deficient diet will lead to hunger pangs, frequent eating, and weight gain.
If you have any of the symptoms of fiber deficiency, you should increase your fiber intake by adding more fiber to your diet.
Amazing Benefits Of High-Fiber Foods
Fiber works like a natural scrub as it eliminates toxins from the GI tract. Soluble fiber soaks up potentially harmful compounds including unhealthy fats and estrogen before they are absorbed by the body. Insoluble fiber makes things, especially mercury and pesticides move faster so get little time to harm your body.
Soluble fibers like prebiotics increase the bioavailability of minerals like calcium in the digested food. And increased bioavailability could help maintain bone density according to the 2018 issue of Calcified Tissue International journal.
The 2022 issue of the Journal of Translational Medicine claims that increased fiber intake reduces untimely death due to chronic ailments including cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The issue forces of consumption of both soluble and insoluble fibers.
Lower Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Journal of Diabetes Investigation published a report in its 2020 issue in which it highlighted the need for more dietary fiber to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers believe that since fiber can maintain blood sugar levels in the body, it can support a healthier gut microbiome and lower inflammation leading to a lower risk of diabetes.
A study in the 2017 issue of The Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism claimed that those who consume more fiber have normal weight. They never become obese. Also, high fiber food can help control weight naturally and more healthily.
A high fiber food can keep you safe from many complications like constipation and give health benefits like stronger bones as well. Also, you shouldn’t have any hassle in increasing your fiber intake as it is found a wide range of fruits and vegetables that you can take as salads.
Disclaimer: The above information is for educational purposes only. Symptoms of fiber deficiency can be controlled only with medicines by experienced doctors only. Anyone experiencing those symptoms should first consult a doctor.