As an athlete, you are continually seeking ways to gain an edge in performance, recovery, training, sleep, and nutrition. Athlete health can be influenced by factors such as intense training, insufficient rest, frequent travel, and compromised nutritional intake.
Surprisingly, boosting your gut bacteria may be as crucial as breaking a sweat at the gym. Studies suggest that by focusing on good digestive and immune health, athletes can expedite reaching peak performance.2 Probiotics have emerged as a key player in enhancing gut health.
How Do Probiotics Help Athletic Performance?
Our body depends on a robust immune system to maintain health. Probiotics contribute to immune function by improving the health of beneficial gut bacteria. This, in turn, positively affects how our body functions, particularly in digesting and metabolising food for energy production.3
Additionally, research indicates that probiotics may aid in muscle building through protein synthesis and utilisation. A healthy gut facilitates increased oxygen supply to muscles, reduces inflammation, and accelerates post-exercise recovery.1
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms consumed to enhance the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut, aiding in fibre digestion and infection prevention.7
Predominantly from microorganisms like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, diversity in microbiome strains is crucial for varied effects on the body.
Probiotics can be incorporated through supplements or foods like kimchi, yoghurt, kefir, and kombucha.
Do Probiotics Help Build Muscle?
Research from the University of Tampa suggests that supplementing bodybuilders with probiotics, alongside protein supplements and a structured training program, may enhance muscle gain.
Probiotic supplements potentially improve the body's absorption of vitamins and nutrients, boosting protein synthesis and absorption, crucial for athletes with high protein demands.6
Do Probiotics Help Energy Levels?
Consuming high-quality probiotic supplements can lead to positive changes, including improved digestion, increased energy, enhanced mood, and clearer skin.
Probiotics, especially strains like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, contribute to B vitamin production, essential for energy production. A well-functioning immune system correlates with optimal energy levels.5
Do Probiotics Benefit Endurance Athletes?
Yes! Probiotic supplementation shows promise in improving performance, particularly for endurance athletes engaged in prolonged activities causing gastrointestinal distress.
This includes events like running in the heat and aids in recovery and nutrient absorption, crucial for sustained performance over extended periods.7 Probiotics also enhance gut barrier function, preventing symptoms like 'IBS' during long-distance running.7
Should Athletes Take Probiotics?
Absolutely! Based on evidence, we recommend athletes consider probiotic supplementation to enhance performance, recovery, and overall health.
Probiotics have shown benefits in psychological and physiological responses to stress and anxiety during performance events. Combining probiotics with a gut-healthy diet maximises their effects, offering athletes a potential edge in performance, recovery, and immunity.
Best Probiotics for Athletes
We recommend trying probiotics alongside a nutritious diet, especially if you aim to improve performance, immunity, athletic recovery, and general health. We recommend Immune Boost or Gut Care to cover all of your gut health needs!
Gut Care contains 6.1 billion live bacteria + yeast microorganisms, an excellent starter for boosting gut health. For an added nutrient boost, Immune Boost includes proven immune-boosting vitamins, minerals, botanicals, prebiotics, and 8.5 billion+ CFU.
In conclusion, probiotics complement an athlete's healthy lifestyle and training protocol, serving not only to boost performance but also as a supplement for general health and wellness support.
The gut's connections with the brain, immune system, energy production, hormones, and more make it a crucial factor in athletic performance when functioning optimally.
Other beneficial supplements, such as multivitamins, omega-3s, amino acids, protein formulas, and vitamin D, can be effectively paired with probiotics.