Athletes and Probiotics

While exercise is great for you, high-performance athletes, and especially endurance athletes, suffer a lot of gastrointestinal complaints.

 

This is because exercise shunts blood away from the GI tract, to the muscles, and raises your core temperature. This increased temperature and decreased blood to your internal organs can disrupt the intestinal lining and set off an inflammatory response.

 

When you train hard for several hours a week, it creates a chronic stress from which your body struggles to recover from.

 

So what does exercise have to do with probiotics?

 

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your digestive tract. These friendly bacteria help you digest your food and absorb nutrients effectively. More importantly, they can displace bad bacteria and influence your health, metabolism, digestion and body composition.

 

Intense exercise can compromise the integrity of the intestinal wall, leading to permeability, which allows toxins to make their way into your blood stream. When the bad bacteria start to outnumber the good bacteria, inflammation and illness usually results.

 

Probiotics work to seal the leaks in the intestinal barrier and can help replenish and nourish your supply of good bacteria.

 

Probiotics can also help eliminate abdominal pain, gas, bloating, allergies, nausea, food poisoning, and reflux and may even alleviate IBS, IBD, and dermatitis.

 

Getting Probiotics:

kombucha-1074594_1280Probiotics are usually created by fermentation, which is why fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, sourdough bread, miso and tempeh are great sources of good bacteria.

 

Aim for 1-2 servings of probiotic-rich foods every day.

I personally don’t like the taste of many fermented foods (although I do love kombucha and sourdough bread!) which is why I take a probiotic supplement instead.

 

With supplements, you get what you pay for, and this is especially true with probiotics. Many of the products out there are not what they claim to be.

 

Genestra offers a line of probiotics to suit your needs in powder or pill form. Their probiotics are human-sourced, are ideal for vegans and are guaranteed to contain no soy, wheat, starch, gluten, artificial colouring or flavouring, dairy or animal products.

 

Prebiotics:

 

Prebiotics are what keep probiotics alive and they can be found in legumes, fruits and whole grains. In supplement form these are known as FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides).

 

berries-1546125_1280Aim for 2-3 servings of prebiotic-rich foods such as barley, oats, quinoa, berries, flax, garlic and honey on a daily basis.

 

When supplementing, it’s a good idea to get a probiotic that contains FOS.

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to purchase Genestra probiotics, they are available in my Online Dispensary. You can order them online and they’ll be shipped right to your door so you can avoid having to sift through the products in the health food store.

 

 

SOURCES:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-review-gut-health

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-probiotics

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