Ep. 23 – Dedication to Education

Getting ill sucks right? You miss training sessions and team selection, your eating goes out the window, you slowly turn into a sloth and generally feel like shit. Sad. As we well know, the prevention is always the best cure; of which there are many – from hand hygiene, monitoring training load, avoiding nutrient deficiencies, stress etc etc etc. Today, we’re emptying the kitchen sink and looking at probiotics.

Probiotics are referred to as our ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria. They’re live microorganisms that are found in food, those little yogurt drinks or by supplements and have immune boosting properties. It’s estimated that ~70% of the immune system stems from your gut which highlights the importance of gut health. Poor gut health = poor immune function? Perhaps.

In sciency terms; probiotics has two main functions;

  1. To modify the population of your gut bacteria.
  2. To interact with the gut-associated lymphoid tissues.
This then can modulate and have a positive effect on the systemic immune system. Sweet bro! In athletes, daily supplementing with probiotics can decrease both the likeliness of developing upper respiratory tract infections. Plus they appear to be less severe and go away quicker. For example, pro rugby union guy’s supplemented with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains for 4 weeks and experienced fewer sore throats and less gut issues (Haywood et al, 2013).

Probiotics can also decrease gut infections, which is a high concern for travelling athletes #Delhibelly. So, probiotics turns out to be a useful preventative tool. Therefore I use this with my guy’s if they frequently get ill, feel run down, and if they’re travelling abroad.

Two mega important things we need to consider;

  1. The dose.
  2. The strain.
Most research has been carried out in Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains at the dose of ~10 billion live bacteria. So, look for these two things on the supplement label. Since probiotics can provide some benefit , cause no harm and at low cost, I would highly recommend them this winter as another tool to bulletproof your immune system.

Because, being ill sucks.

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