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Can Probiotics Improve Performance?

Can Probiotics Improve Performance?

Do the patented probiotics in ADF help athletes with more than just gas and bloating?


The answer is a resounding yes. While most research regarding ergogenic supplements (performance enhancing) focus on creatine, BCAAs and glutamine, there are some great studies and information showing the additional benefits of our patented flora in the Athlete Digestive Formula.


A systematic review published in Sports Medicine Reports showed a lot of great benefits to taking probiotics: The first benefit is pretty well known: enhanced immune response. This comes from making sure your probiotic levels are up to speed in the intestines. Probiotics support immune function by promoting higher levels of the natural virus fighter, interferon, which is decreased when we do a long weightlifting workout or aerobic session. 

Ever notice how some weight lifters get sick more often than individuals who don't exercise as much? With training, many fitness enthusiasts and athletes cross the line with exercise, going from improving health to hurting it—in some areas, anyway. The interferons of the immune system get suppressed. These immune system factors are proteins made and released by cells in response to the presence of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, parasites and tumor cells.


Studies have shown an increase in interferons in people who work out a lot with the supplementation of healthy bacteria, and thereby a decrease in illnesses such as mononucleosis or other fatigue conditions. Remember that depression and fatigue go hand in hand and is another reason why keeping your ADF handy is a good idea.


  • Probiotics, or friendly bacteria, can improve recovery by increasing antioxidant absorption. Since free radicals are abundant after training, it's important that athletes and workout enthusiasts meet them head-on with high amounts of antioxidants in recovery and throughout each day. When eaten during recovery, probiotics increase antioxidant absorption, thereby promote extra free radical fighting just when you need it.
  • As reported in an article in Beach Body. “Another way the gut biome can help with fitness is by maximizing absorption of nutrients needed for performance and recovery. Remember, you are not what you eat, you are what you absorb,” says Kiran Krishnan, Ph.D., a microbiologist who studies the role of bacteria in human health and fitness. “The gut biome is virtually in total control of what happens to food and nutrition in the gut.”


This “absolutely translates to athletic performance and ability, including recovery,” Krishnan believes. For example, muscle contraction is dependent on sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium levels and metabolism. “If your gut cannot absorb enough minerals, your muscles will seize. If you gut cannot absorb enough pyruvate, amino acids, fatty acids and minerals, your mitochondria—the powerhouse of the cell—will run out of capacity to produce ATP, which will cause fatigue and muscle failure.”


“We take for granted that what we put in our mouth ends up in our cells,” Krishnan adds, but this isn’t always true. “In order for these critical nutrients to reach the cell, they have to be metabolized, isolated and made functional by the microbiome.”


  • Continuing with the same research, a less obvious but potentially important way the gut biome can impact training and performance is its influence on an athlete’s state of mind. “Our gut microbes act like an endocrine organ, in that they produce important chemicals which act like hormones in our bodies,” notes the Whisner. GABA is produced by lactobacilli while other strains of bacteria have been known to produce anti-stress, ‘feel good’ hormones like dopamine, she said. (Indeed, still other studies have found links between gut bacteria and major psychiatric conditions.)


“In short, a healthy gut biome can help reinforce the sense of well-being that exercise can induce,” says Whisner. Indeed, it may be a big part of why exercise makes us feel so good. So what can you do to help your intestinal bacteria flourish? “A healthy gut is one that is diverse,” says Krishnan.


The summary in the published review on performance brings it all together. It showed probiotics “may provide athletes with secondary health benefits that could positively affect athletic performance through enhanced recovery from fatigue, improved immune function, and maintenance of healthy gastrointestinal tract function”.


ADF contains 9 patented strains of friendly probiotics, each proven to inhabit different parts of the intestines. Each one performs different functions, keeping your performance training turning into performance health and longevity.


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