Researchers from Harvard Medical School believe that the digestive tracts of elite athletes can hold the key to boosting athletic performance. When people have digestive problems, they often turn to probiotic supplements to improve their digestive tract to ease their discomfort. Even if you don’t have obvious issues, taking steps to improve the trillion of organisms that live in your gut is worthwhile. These bacteria have incredible abilities; besides improving your digestive system, they can impact your immune system, influence the foods you eat, improve blood sugar, and affect leptin sensitivity, a hormone that regulates your appetite and metabolic rate.
Probiotics are essential to maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Numerous other studies have linked the power-packed bacteria to numerous other health perks, including lowering blood pressure, helping with depression, and aiding in weight loss.
Probiotics May Help You Turn Protein into Muscle
According to a recent research study, certain strains of probiotics, particularly one called GanedenBC30, seem to increase the absorption of some amino acids from the intestinal tract. They found this strain of bacteria boosted absorption of 23 amino acids that are important for muscle growth. Some amino acids are essential since the body can’t make them, so they have to come from diet. This particular strain of probiotic bacteria increased the absorption of some of these essential amino acids needed for good health and muscle growth.
So how do you get these probiotics?
Choose the Right Supplement:
- Check the expiration date. You don’t want a supplement that has exceeded the lifespan of the organisms it contains.
- Get enough colony forming units (CFU). Probiotic potency is measured in colony forming units. Look for a dose of 10 to 20 million CFUs, a common range in clinical trials.
- Maintain proper care. For preservation purposes probiotics need to be kept in a cool, dry place away from air. Look for a probiotic that is sold in the refrigerator.
- Be consistent. Your digestive tract is an unpredictable environment and daily probiotic use will ensure that you are doing your best to maintain its optimal state.
There are several foods that you can turn to on a regular basis to help keep your digestive tract full of beneficial bacteria. Fermented dairy products like kefir, yogurt or cottage cheese with live cultures, or fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kim chi all contain “good” bacteria that you can use to improve your digestive health instead of taking supplements. And remember, as with probiotic supplements, consistency in eating these foods on a regular basis is key.
Probiotics have benefits for athletes and physically active people and sports nutrition companies are taking note of that. But you don’t need to get probiotics from a commercial protein powder. Make friends with a carton of plain yogurt with active cultures. Add some berries to give it flavor, and you’ll get fitness-friendly bacteria and antioxidants at the same time.