At SuperBio we firmly believe in all the far-reaching benefits that probiotics can provide, from Digestive Health to Cardiovascular, Immune and Mental Health. However, we are often asked
“what can probiotics do for me if I already feel great, exercise and eat right?”
Probiotics are more than just good for your gut! Here are 6 ways they can help you stay motivated and maintain the good health you have worked so hard to gain.
Research has shown strenuous exercise can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) problems, like diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain, due to inflammation damaging the gut lining cells. This is particularly true in athletes and those who do regular intense exercise, as endurance training diverts oxygen flow from the gut to the muscles, which can disrupt healthy GI function. Probiotics can combat this by reducing inflammation, thereby protecting your gut and allowing you to exercise without suffering from GI problems.
Regular exercise and athletic activity can put a stress on our immune system. Since 80% of our immune system resides in our GI, and our gut microbiome and immune cells are in constant communication, taking a regular dose of Probiotics has been shown to maximize immune activity without compromising workout performance. In a study led by Dr. Alan Cripps at the Griffith Health Institute, in Australia, 465 volunteers exercised for at least 30 min, 3 times a week for 3 months. A third of the volunteers were given a single probiotic, the second third was given two probiotics and the remaining third received a placebo. After 3-months, the study showed that the two groups that took probiotics reported a 25% reduction in cold symptoms compared to the placebo group.
Interestingly, taking vitamin C, something most of us are aware of to fight colds, only reduced the risk of getting a common cold by about 3%. Our “good” gut bacteria also produce compounds and proteins that can help prevent infection, oxidative stress and inflammation, all of which can help us work out and recover quicker.
A balanced, thriving gut microbiome helps maintain optimal gut lining health, which improves energy and nutrient absorption. Since our gut is lined with cells that control the absorption of nutrients and the exclusion of waste, it is important that these gut cells are healthy and their health is in turn optimized by a robust microbiome.
Probiotics and gut bacteria produce various useful nutrients as part of their normal metabolism. For example, probiotic bacteria generate essential vitamins like vitamin B and K. They also metabolize indigestible fiber from our diet and make short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are used directly by our gut cells and also help feed distant organs and tissues. A healthy microbiome can generate 10% of our daily caloric requirement through SCFA production.
Our GI has an extensive nervous system called the enteric nervous system (ENS), which allows our brain and gut take cues from each other. Gut bacteria produce serotonin and dopamine; two mood elevating hormones that play an integral role in this process. Taking a daily probiotic can boost your workout motivation and help you get in the mood to exercise.
Getting enough fruits, vegetables and hearty grains in your diet is always a challenge. But did you know that the fiber in these foods is also the raw material our gut bacteria and probiotics need to survive and make SCFAs and vitamins. The average Western diet contains 20–25 g fiber/day, but if you up that to 60 grams you can get 10% of your daily caloric needs, without the additional calories.
So even if you think you are well on your way to a healthy lifestyle or are already there, and don’t need a probiotic, think again. Probiotics, like SuperBio, can still help you by helping you fight off the cold, help you keep up your exercise routine and help you maintain that healthy lifestyle you have worked so hard to get.
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