Imagine feeling on top of the world — resilient, energetic, focused, calm, in peak physical fitness, and knowing you are at your optimal wellbeing. Plugged in, connected, and ready to go.
But instead, you have diminishing motivation, bone-crunching tiredness, and feel your emotional tank is running low or completely depleted. You are struggling to find the time and energy to get everything done.
You definitely don’t feel like socialising or getting in the mood.
This is where the quick fixes of caffeine, vitamin tablets, and sugar enter. Used in the desperate hope to get through another day, walk through the door, make something that looks like food and then collapse in a heap, thinking you’ll go on that date night tomorrow…maybe.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
It It may interest you to know that gut health is one of the key protagonists in our sexual energy and overall wellbeing, including how we function in our closest relationships.
Is Your Relationship Affecting Your Gut Health?
We all know that our loved ones have a massive impact on how we feel daily. But you may be shocked to learn that your relationship with your partner, including the shared stressors and emotions, along with the intertwined lifestyles and routines, can promote or protect you from common disease risks. This is scientifically shown through parallel changes in the gut microbiotas amongst partners (Kiecolt-Glaser, Wilson, & Madison, 2019).
If you are happy in your relationship and feel trusted and listened to, you tend to make healthy choices for your overall wellbeing. These choices protect your gut and help it function correctly, even through times of stress. Remarkably, there is also a ripple effect of the good decisions, spreading to your partner. But the opposite is also true.
When we are unhappy in our relationship, we tend to be more stressed (increased cortisol), make lousy food or lifestyle choices, and sleep less. This can negatively impact our gut health and overall wellbeing along with our partners.
Scary research shows that people stuck in hostile partnerships have more chemicals that cross the gut barrier, leading to higher inflammation. This may explain the link between bad relationships and chronic inflammatory diseases such as depression, obesity, and heart disease (Kiecolt-Glaser, Wilson, & Madison, 2019).
There is also a fascinating fact that microbes love to find new territory to live in. And they can do this by a simple transfer from one human to another. This can often be good or bad…depending on the person you are with.
The easiest way in…kissing. Having a good old pash can transfer 8 million bacteria per second between the willing participants (Kort, et al., 2014).
Yes, that is correct; a simple kiss can significantly impact your gut health!!
The Digestive System and how it Impacts your Love Life
The digestive system is often reduced to a simple equation. Food in = energy out. But that isn’t the whole story!
Just because you are putting good food in doesn’t mean you will get optimal energy out. When the gut microbiome is compromised, several issues directly related to energy and fatigue may arise. Let’s look at how the gut impacts your energy and feeling of wellbeing.
Gives you the Energy to Play
We’ve been told our entire lives, ‘you are what you eat.’ While this is true, and food is our fuel, it is not just about the food we eat. It still needs to be absorbed and assimilated to power our bodies.
This is where a healthy gut microbiome with an ideal balance of beneficial bacteria plays countless roles in the body’s energy equation.
At its most basic level, if gut health is compromised, it leads to an inability of the resident flora to break down food properly. This impedes nutrients from being available for the energy equation to take place. You can’t feel energised and ‘ready to roll in the hay’ without essential nutrients being available for cellular energy production.
A healthy microbiome has other vital roles in the metabolic-energy equation.
The good bacteria in the gut help absorb B vitamins from our dietary sources, but they also create specific B vitamins. These are essential co-factors in several metabolic pathways. If you have deficiencies in your B vitamins – particularly B12 – you will have energy and fatigue issues. Who feels like they want to hit the sack with their favourite person when the first thing on their mind is getting some sleep?
The gut microbiome also communicates with other cells in the body to help regulate blood sugar levels. When the microbiome is healthy, it enhances insulin sensitivity. This allows the body to avoid fluctuating energy levels through spikes and crashes, leading to mood swings and hangry attacks that tend to kill any good vibes within a five-kilometer radius. We have all been there.
Puts You in the Mood to Play
You would never think that your gut health directly impacts your ability to initiate or even maintain a healthy and happy relationship or life, but it does.
One of the most critical roles of the gut microbiome is regulating mood, sleep, and ultimately energy and wellbeing. This is done by the gut bacteria that create and regulate neurotransmitters so they can communicate with each other. These chemicals are GABA, serotonin, tryptophan, dopamine, and oxytocin.
These neurotransmitters influence the immune system, enteric nervous system, gut barrier, and central nervous system for all things emotional.
They are the prime drivers behind your happiness, sleep, motivation, and mood.
Oxytocin, for instance, is involved in maintaining good health fast healing and plays a role in social bonding. It gets us in the ‘right kinda mood’ to get up close and personal with our loved ones.
Conversely, if you have relationship distress, this has been shown to increase gut permeability and possibly change the gut microbiota (Chuang, 2021). Leading to all those negative changes we were talking about.
All these neurotransmitters are tied directly to feeling energised and having a sense of physical, mental, and sexual wellbeing. Check out our blog post on the gut-brain axis here, which explains this in more detail.
Here’s a fun fact…It may help you sniff out a compatible mate!!
There is a theory that the proteins that make up our immune system in our gut have a unique odour. The idea is that we unconsciously select our perfect mates because they have a completely different and distinctive odour. They, in essence, smell good to us because they have gut bacteria odors that we don’t. After the microbes are shared – we don’t need to tell you how – it effectively doubles our resistance to pathogens through the caring and sharing of gut bacteria (Anderson, 2019).
The Bottom Line
Gut health impacts all aspects of our health. It is the critical player in our energy and overall wellbeing, including our ability to connect and maintain happy, healthy relationships.
Your gut health needs to be in perfect working order to protect, invigorate, and regulate all your body’s functions, including getting intimate with your partner.
We must support the gut so it can function in all its roles.
You can impact your energy and vitality to improve your love life.
Science has found that taking probiotics or fermented foods with L. reuterian lowers stress hormones such as cortisol and up-regulates oxytocin levels (Varian, et al., 2017). A genuine love bug!!!
Another quick and easy way to achieve a healthy, diverse, and balanced gut is by taking Gut Performance™ every day. It has been scientifically proven to be an excellent prebiotic that feeds your beneficial bacteria, helping the good bacteria to flourish.
Taking just one scoop daily will significantly boost your prebiotic intake that positively impacts your gut health immediately.
Let us know via our Gut Performance ™ Instagram page and #gutperformance how you prepare your daily Gut Performance™ dose. We love to hear how Gut Performance™ has taken your gut health to the next level.
Anderson, S. C. (2019, April). What Do Microbes Have to Do With Your Love Life? Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mood-microbe/201904/what-do-microbes-have-do-your-love-life
Chuang, J. Y. (2021). Romantic Relationship Dissolution, Microbiota, and Fibers. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8. Retrieved 2022, from https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnut.2021.655038
Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Wilson, S. J., & Madison, A. (2019). Marriage and Gut (Microbiome) Feelings: Tracing Novel Dyadic Pathways to Accelerated Aging. Psychosomatic Medicine, 81(8), 704-710. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000647
Kort, R., Caspers, M., van de Graaf, A., van Egmond, W., Keijser, B., & Roeselers , G. (2014). Shaping the oral microbiota through intimate kissing. Microbiome, 2. Retrieved 2022, from https://doi.org/10.1186/2049-2618-2-41
Varian, B. J., Poutahidis, T., DiBenedictis, B. T., Levkovich, T., Ibrahim, Y., Didyk, E., . . . Erdman, S. E. (2017). Microbial lysate upregulates host oxytocin. Brain, behavior and immunity, 61, 36-49. Retrieved 2022, from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2016.11.002