Probiotics are living microorganisms that provide excellent benefits to the body when administered in the right amounts. Do you know probiotics? Discover all its benefits here.
What are probiotics?
The World Health Organization defines probiotics as those living microorganisms that, ingested in the right doses, provide excellent health benefits.
And is that probiotics contain a variety of non-pathogenic substances that are responsible for colonizing the intestine. In this way, they provide a wide variety of benefits to the body. For example, the prevention of gastrointestinal diseases or also the strengthening of the immune system. In addition, there are some probiotics such as Lactobacillus Gasseri, which improve our metabolism and can help us lose weight.
The main probiotics are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. In addition to being present in the body naturally, they can also be found in some types of food such as yogurts, kefir, olives, dark chocolate or seaweed. All of them are foods with a high energy content, so it is very suitable for the diet of athletes.
These are the benefits of probiotics for athletes
People who practice a lot of sports need to carry out adequate health routines so as not to suffer deficiencies that prevent the proper development of a specific physical activity. For them, it is essential to follow a balanced diet or sleep well.
In turn, it has been shown that the intake of probiotics also has excellent benefits for the health of athletes, both for elite athletes and for those who practice a sport in an amateur way.
We summarize, below, the main benefits that probiotics provide to athletes:
Improve digestive problems
Athletes who undergo intense training sessions can suffer from annoying digestive problems. On many occasions, overexertion due to a high intensity sports routine can cause anything from nausea and vomiting to poor digestion or diarrhea.
However, dietary supplementation through probiotics is one of the best alternatives to improve these digestive problems. Probiotics are responsible for modifying the intestinal flora in such a way that they also increase the amount of bacteria that are beneficial to health.
They prevent respiratory diseases
From pneumonia to the common cold, respiratory tract illnesses can seriously compromise athletes’ performance.
However, the use of probiotics in people who practice physical exercise has been shown to be beneficial. They prevent the proliferation of bacteria that affect the respiratory tract and are responsible for infections that affect the mucous membranes.
In fact, a recent study carried out with professional runners showed that athletes who took lactobacillus fermentum during the winter months suffered less than half the respiratory tract problems than athletes who did not take these probiotic supplements.
Some scientific experiments have also shown that the intake of probiotics by athletes can moderately improve physical performance, especially in the case of Lactobacillus, Bifid bacterium and Streptococcus.
A recent study verified the effect of probiotics in a group of athletes and showed that they experienced an improvement in race times in hot conditions.
Decrease free radicals
Probiotics also stand out for having excellent antioxidant properties. They help reduce the harmful effect of free radicals and prevent the oxidative effect of the cells of athletes.
They maintain glucose levels
Another benefit that probiotics provide to those who practice sports is that they help control blood glucose levels before, during and after physical exercise.