Is it True our Bodies take 3 days to absorb Food?

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    Dec 20, 2010 5:35 PM GMT
    So ive heard a few times that it takes up to three days for our bodies to absorb food, and of course any excess is disposed. If thats true, that totally affects how we eat before and after exercise, and on non training days. So should we be eating LESS so the body can assimilate what is necessary at the moment so little is disposed? Same goes for supplements too.
    Thoughts?
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    Dec 21, 2010 4:06 AM GMT
    I just "absorbed" a huge sushi + thai food dinner in under 10 minutes earlier this evening. The chef was like "holy shit, you're already finished? icon_eek.gif"
  • NerdLifter

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    Dec 21, 2010 4:09 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidI just "absorbed" a huge sushi + thai food dinner in under 10 minutes earlier this evening. The chef was like "holy shit, you're already finished? icon_eek.gif"


    Mmm, sushi.
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    Dec 21, 2010 4:10 AM GMT
    Ooo sushi sounds good, mmmm....
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    Dec 21, 2010 4:27 AM GMT
    Yuck. No sushi for me, thanks.

    The OP is an awfully broad generalization. Of course, small molecules like simple sugars and amino acids are absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream - like minutes. Starches and oligos somewhat more slowly, and complex stuff like meat and plant material are degraded very slowly, and may in fact pass through your digestive tract without being "absorbed."

    The amount of time available for absorption depends on how much you eat - that is, how fast the material flows through you, and probably other things too. When I was doing endurance stuff, I could feel a plate of pasta vaporize in my stomach like it was a fusion reactor and go straight to my head.
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    Dec 21, 2010 4:36 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidYuck. No sushi for me, thanks.

    The OP is an awfully broad generalization. Of course, small molecules like simple sugars and amino acids are absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream - like minutes. Starches and oligos somewhat more slowly, and complex stuff like meat and plant material are degraded very slowly, and may in fact pass through your digestive tract without being "absorbed."

    The amount of time available for absorption depends on how much you eat - that is, how fast the material flows through you, and probably other things too. When I was doing endurance stuff, I could feel a plate of pasta vaporize in my stomach like it was a fusion reactor and go straight to my head.


    Ok, no sushi.
    So, like i said, would it make sense to eat less depending on how active your body is so little is wasted?
    If i eat meat and vegetables, because theyre absorbed slowly, should i eat a controlled amount or increase the portions because i worked out that day?
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 21, 2010 4:49 AM GMT
    It's not so much three days as much as it can take 3 days to have a complete bowel movement of the food you ingested. The food is constantly being absorbed by your body, including fats.
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    Dec 21, 2010 4:58 AM GMT
    How long does it take food to digest?
    The stomach holds a little under 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of semidigested food. That food remains in the stomach for three to five hours. The stomach slowly releases food to the rest of the digestive tract. Fifteen hours or more after the first bite started down the alimentary canal (digestive tract, which begins at the mouth), the final residue of the food is passed along to the rectum and is excreted through the anus as feces


    http://www.enotes.com/science-fact-finder/human-body/how-long-does-take-food-digest

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    Dec 21, 2010 5:02 AM GMT
    Transit time (from entering the mouth through leaving the anus) through the adult GI tract generally is 24-48 hours. In a person with decreased GI motility, it could be 72 hours or longer, but this is not really normal. Transit time varies depending on the foods you eat, your metabolic state, etc. so you can't set a fixed time period as to when food is being absorbed, but I think that to say it occurs over 72 hours would be a bit much, since food usually won't stay in your system, and especially not in your small intestine (where nutrient absorption occurs) for that long.

    During the first 1 to 4 hours after you swallow food it is subjected to and broken up by churning, hydrochloric acid, and a few digestive enzymes in the stomach, but no absorption occurs. How long it spends here depends on the nature of the food. For example, foods high in fiber will increase GI motility so that they are passed through the GI tract faster, decreasing transit time.

    After this, it is now called chyme and is passed on to the small intestine where digestion continues due to the introduction of pancreatic enzymes, and absorption begins. Absorption of nutrients occurs all along the length of the small intestine, with some nutrients being absorbed more at certain segments than at others. For example, iron is absorbed at the duodenum and proximal jejunum (early segments of the small intestine) and so is absorbed earlier than vitamin B12 which is absorbed at the distal ileum (the last segment of the small intestine).

    The liquid from the small intestine is then passed on to the large intestine where the water is slowly sucked out from it as it is converted into feces. Though large quantities of water are absorbed at the large intestine (I believe it is about 2 liters a day on average), no nutrients are absorbed here.

    So, since it usually only takes 24-48 hours for food to pass through you and the first 4 and last few hours are spent in areas where no absorption can occur I think saying that 72 hours is required for food absorption is a bit of a stretch, but it certainly does take a while.

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    Dec 21, 2010 5:32 AM GMT
    Thanks alot for the input gentlemen, it makes sense now.
    ...im still thinking about sushi... icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 21, 2010 5:34 AM GMT
    oh man, if this is true then I am going to be hella fat tomorrow since I grubbed it up this weekend.