BASE Race Team member Milly Wade-West shares why probiotics are vital for the endurance athlete. As a strength and endurance coach with degrees in Biology, Exercise Science, Kinesiology as well as Psychology, she is well-equipped to tackle the topic!
Endurance athletes are constantly depleting themselves of nutrients on a daily basis, so it is critical that their nutritional needs are taken as seriously--if not more--than their training! A strong healthy body is the best foundation an athlete can have (yes even better than that swanky aero helmet which will save 10 seconds of your 40K TT!).
Where do these nutrients come from? The gut! If you're GI system doesn't perform optimally, you'll never provide yourself with the essential building blocks necessary to create and maintain the lean, mean, athletic machine we strive for.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are supplements that stimulate that growth of microorganisms with beneficial properties. Namely, they help break down and absorb nutrients into the bloodstream where your body puts them to use. The growth of this bacterial can be favorable when supplementing on a daily basis.
Strengthen immune system
Endurance athletes' immune systems are compromised in periods of heaving training and particularly immediately after a long session. Probiotics help to alleviate intestinal inflammation in the gut enabling it to function optimally.
Reduce GI distress
The additional of beneficial bacteria improves digestion, which can help to ward off those marathon porta-potty moments as well as race day cramping, nausea, diarrhea etc.
Improved digestion and absorption of nutrients
Better digestion will also lead to an enhanced ability to absorb micronutrients from nutrient dense foods eaten outside of your workouts.
Greater nutrient absorption equals enhanced recovery!
Protection during open water swims
Triathlon open water swims are often in contaminated waters. The addition of good bacteria can help to fight off the bad bacteria taken in during races.
Restore friendly bacteria from antibiotics
If you do have to resort to antibiotics from infections etc. the probiotics will help to restore friendly bacteria that has been killed off.
Add a daily probiotic to your training regimen to ensure you perform at your best!