Science is offering a great deal of new research on “gut bacteria,” the microorganisms that reside in the human digestive tract that help to keep people healthy and functioning well. Although the idea of bacteria that promote good health might seem a little strange, scientific research finds that the amount and types of bacteria in our digestive tracts have a profound effect on how people feel and how well they function. For athletes, improved digestive health can help to improve the absorption of nutrients and improve athletic performance.
Probiotics are a category of live bacteria and yeasts that normally reside in the human digestive system. These good bacteria help keep the digestive system functioning properly, so that nutrients can be properly absorbed and waste efficiently removed. When intestinal bacteria are of balance, serious digestive conditions can result, which can impact athletic performance. Probiotics are found in many foods, such as milk, sauerkraut, kim chee, miso and natto. However, if you do not receive enough probiotics in your daily diet, you may require a probiotic supplement to increase the amount of good bacteria in your digestive system. Here is a thorough article with some of the best options available. Here are some ways that probiotics can benefit athletes: Improve Immune System Function: The improved digestive function provided by probiotics helps to reduce inflammation in the body, which can produce significant effects on the human immune system. If you want to have fewer colds, avoid common skin rashes and enjoy better overall health — something that all athletes could benefit from — take probiotic supplements on a regular basis. Improved immune system function can also help athletes regenerate more quickly from exhausting training and events. Improve Protein Digestion: A daily probiotic supplement will also help to improve protein digestion, to increase muscle mass and faster tissue repair after injuries. The improved nutritional absorption helps athletes to work harder, longer and regenerate faster after vigorous workouts. Improve Daily Digestive Function: Probiotics also help to eliminate some of the annoying physical problems that affect many athletes’ performance, such as bloating, gas, abdominal cramping and frequent respiratory infections due to strenuous activity at events. These issues may not seem serious, but can have a real impact on a training program. Improve Recovery: Probiotics improve recovery by increasing antioxidant absorption and fighting nasty free radicals.
Experts warn that probiotic supplements take about 2 weeks to colonize the intestines fully, so athletes should begin taking a supplement about 14 days before a significant event in order to achieve the full benefit. Take the supplement twice daily, before breakfast and before the evening meal and you will see a marked improvement in your performance. If you occasionally suffer from digestive upsets or would simply like to improve your overall health to function better in the gym or on the field, try adding a probiotic supplement to your daily regime and see the difference in your performance.