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Gut Health and Exercise

Your gut is home to trillions of hard-working probiotics working tirelessly in keeping your system in top shape. These diverse ecosystems of hard-working, bacteria make up your gut microbiome. They are greatly influenced by your diet, medication, stress, and exercise.

 

Exercise helps your digestive system work more efficiently. It also promotes better blood circulation. This influence goes both ways, as these microorganisms affect athletic performance as well.

 

Gut bacteria and exercise

 

Gut bacteria are incredibly crucial to exercise. It increases your energy levels and assists you with recovery after exercise. Also, several vital processes within your body are dependent on short-chain fatty acids or (SCFAs). Short-chain fatty acids are produced by gut bacteria in the large intestine. Short-chain fatty acids are end products of dietary fiber fermentation.

When you’re into fitness, then you will benefit from having a healthy microbiome. Feeding your gut bacteria with dietary fibers can increase your metabolism and SCFAs production. Which leads to improved fitness and better health.

Furthermore, exercise can also increase the production of butyrate. Butyrate is a type of SCFA with powerful effects on the gut. Among its many functions is providing energy to the cells that line your gut. Overall, butyrate helps fight inflammation, prevent illness, and keep your gut barrier strong.  

Exercise, on the other hand, is associated with an increase in the abundance and diversity of gut bacteria. A diverse gut microbiome results in better carbohydrate metabolism and increased production of SCFAs.

 

Ways on how probiotics affect your athletic performance

 

  1. Promotes muscle recovery

Beneficial bacteria called Veillonella atypica help transform lactate into short-fatty acids. During exercise, your muscle produces lactic acid. Lactic acid build-up can cause muscle soreness. However, gut bacteria can transform lactate into a more useful substance needed by your body.

  1. Maintains a good hydration

Your body loses more water, especially during exercise, leaving you at greater risk of dehydration. The good news is, probiotics can contribute to your hydration status. It can help your body to use water more effectively. It does this by transporting electrolytes such as sodium and potassium through the gut lining. The transport of water and mucosal hydration contributes to normal intestinal barrier function.

  1. Strengthens the gut barrier

Beneficial bacteria help strengthens the gut barrier and protect it from endotoxemia. Endotoxemia happens when your body experiences exertional heatstroke during exercise. The gut lining weakens and allows toxins from getting through the barrier and causes inflammation.

Several studies have found that poor intestinal integrity can contribute to exertional heatstroke, and diet could certainly play a role in its prevention. Eating a diet rich in plant-based foods, for example, strengthens the gut barrier and improves microbial diversity.

Taking dietary supplements with probiotics could also help. Probiotic supplements contain a live source of beneficial bacteria. These beneficial bacteria support the immune function, especially during intensive exercise. It promotes better food digestion and absorption and keeps the gut microbiome in check.

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