It would be an understatement to say that supplementation is important for healthy runners.
All of us can gain an edge by stacking supplements and spending time measuring their many benefits. But what about pre/probiotics? I know I’m preaching to the choir when I praise pre/probiotics and their benefits for everyday gastrointestinal function and health. But apart from their general benefits, did you know that combining prebiotics with probiotics can actually make you a better runner?
There has been a considerable buzz around gut health and maintaining a diverse culture of microbiota in the stomach and truth is, you’d also be undercutting your performance as a runner if you skipped out on pre/probiotic supplements.
Probiotic Pro Tip: Take a Prebiotic
There are many foods that are high in probiotics (like yogurt or kefir), but getting adequate amounts is much easier and more efficient through powders and capsules.
Prebiotics are used as an energy source for probiotics, helping them grow and perform at maximum capacity.
My go-to probiotic is from Kibow Biotech, bar none. Their Kibow Flora™is great! So is Kibow Fortis®, a multi-fiber prebiotic. Itis my personal favorite because I like having the option to choose between powder or capsule for my daily dosage.
Make sure to use Kibow Fortis® with Kibow Flora™ so it can better help digestion and boost energy among its other benefits. Is your curiosity piqued? If so, let’s dive a little deeper into pre/probiotics overall.
How Can Probiotics Improve Your Running?
You may be scratching your head at this point: what does a healthy gut have to do with running performance? Really, it comes down to the following reasons:
- They can minimize the incidence of leaky gut syndrome, which can negatively affect your health and overall running performance. For those with IBS, probiotics can make an unpleasant run a great experience
- Heavy periods of training require extra energy to recover from. Supplementing with probiotics can boost the immune system’s defenses.
- If you commonly have to navigate nagging allergies during your runs, probiotics can help combat the symptoms.
Reason #1: Minimize Leaky Gut with Probiotics
Leaky gut occurs when microscopic holes appear in your intestinal lining. The gut has the important function of preventing toxins and germs from entering the bloodstream. A healthy gut microbiome acts as a defense from this happening. If the mucosal barrier in your gut becomes porous over time–as is common for endurance athletes– you need to act accordingly.
To increase the diversity of your gut’s microbiome, you want to take supplements that provide a good balance in the intestinal flora matrix. And because the colon harbors 80% of the good, essential flora in the gut, make sure you take a multi-fiber supplement that supports your colon’ health.
So far, stacking my favorite pre/probiotic supplements together has made a noticeable impact. I have kept my stomach inflammation in control, which is the last thing I want to worry about while running a marathon or training.
Reason # 2: Boost Your Immune System with Probiotics Plus a Prebiotic
It looks like the myth has been seemingly busted on a suppressed immune system for runners. Although running does increase the strength of the immune system, endurance athletes still need to get enough protein and calories to maintain their strenuous training schedules.
The problem with consuming a lot of protein and the necessary nutrients though? They have harmful byproducts in the body that tax the gut microbiota.
A 2016 study on gut microbiota in endurance athletes found that most proteins have toxic metabolites (the byproducts of metabolism). They found probiotics to be successful in minimizing these toxins.
Reason #3: Curb Allergies Using Probiotics
For those who suffer from hay fever and other allergic conditions, probiotics are a great way to minimize the symptoms.
There has been recent research to show that probiotics actually help reduce allergies. But not all probiotics work well to combat allergies. That’s why you need to make sure you find the right product for you.
For me, Kibow Biotech’s Flora™and Fortis®have helped minimize my allergy symptoms significantly. And for those who have food allergies, the Kibow Fortis® supplement is free of dairy, nut, and soy products. It is also completely vegan..