There are five reasons I’m going to talk about in this blog post about why you might not be getting all the nutrients from your food. There are other reasons, but I think these are the five key ones, and some of the practical ones you can try.

  1. Chewing fast: The problem with chewing too quickly is it can prevent the stimulation of certain enzymes which help us to break down food. It’s really important just to slow everything down when it comes to eating. Take your time, chew multiple times, enjoy the food, allow yourself to get the flavour from the food before swallowing, and you’ll put yourself in a good position to absorb the nutrients once it gets into the stomach and the intestine.
  2. Alcohol consumption: This can damage cells in the stomach and block the release of digestive enzymes, so consuming alcohol around food time or during food time is not always the best thing to do. It can have a counterproductive effect on the nutrients in the food. If you are drinking alcohol, try and keep it outside of food time. Although the food can help absorb some of that alcohol, you may pay the price with the nutrients.
  3. Age: Eat more nutrient-rich foods as you get older because as we age, we tend to be a little bit less efficient drawing out the nutrients from our food. So just be mindful as you perhaps get to 40 and above. It’s even more important to make sure you’re getting really good nutrition, preferably from your food but perhaps also taking a capsule or liquid as a supplement.
  4. Caffeine: Many of us tend to over-rely on caffeine to get ourselves pepped up for the day and then perhaps struggle to process that when it comes to sleeping, but another side effect of caffeine is it can inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients e.g. calcium and magnesium. Both alcohol and caffeine can prevent the absorption of these very important nutrients, but that’s not an exhaustive list, so just be mindful about the amount of caffeine you’re consuming.
  5. Stress: Many of us eat when we’re in a stressed state. We eat very quickly, very hurriedly, perhaps at our desks, perhaps while we’re on the move, but stress can really inhibit nutrient absorption. So it’ very important to prepare the body for food, and you can do this by just sitting quietly and taking two or three minutes to breathe before you eat a meal. Prepare the body for the food that’s coming. Relax the body.

When we are para-sympathetic dominant, which is one branch of the autonomic nervous system … it’s also called the rest and digest function … so when we’re relatively unstressed, relaxed and at ease, that’s when it’s optimum for us to eat because we’re going to get the most absorption out of those nutrients. I hope that’s helpful. As ever, if you’ve got questions about this, contact me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to help you.

What’s your Health IQ?

If you’re reading this, you’re are probably in a reasonably senior position, running your own business or have a busy life running the home and juggling other responsibilities. Either way, you’re busy. The convergent pressures of work and family life have probably meant that the time you did have to spend on health and fitness has disappeared. Why not talk to us and see how we can help.

Click here to take our test.

Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  • Leanne is an award-winning entrepreneur and the founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. She delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight', is the author of bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine', and hosts a podcast called ’Remove the Guesswork‘. Leanne is the founder of Bodyshot Performance, an award-winning health and wellbeing company. Bodyshot Performance work with businesses of up to 500 people who want to create a culture of energy, vitality and performance through the business and position wellbeing as a competitive advantage. Bodyshot intersect the latest science and technology to provide unique solutions to the challenge of wellbeing in the workplace that have a direct impact on the bottom line. Our clients have won awards for wellbeing and recognise it directly improves employee engagement and retention and attracts talent into the business.  We also work with chronically stressed or burned out professionals to get you back in control of your health and able to do the things you want to do in life. My expertise is around health, fitness and wellbeing, specifically focusing on sleep, mental health, energy, body composition, digestion and fitness. I host a popular podcast on iTunes called ’Remove the Guesswork ‘, and in November 2016 I delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight'. I’m the author of the bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine' and I regularly speak to corporates on health and wellbeing. My personal values are to live truthfully, considerately and to "suck all the marrow out of life" as Thoreau said. I support the charity Diversity Role Models which works to combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. I recently completed the world’s toughest ski race to raise £10,125 for Alzheimer's Research as my father-in-law was profoundly ill with Alzheimers, and I am on a constant mission to find ways to live in a way that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. I love sport, fitness, reading, gardening, business, podcasting, and being with my cat and our scampish little rescue dog, Kami from Romania.