Bulk Up With Probiotics

Along with the requisite training routines and getting a healthy diet, there are scores of recommendations out there to provide athletes and body-builders with an extra edge. Plenty of supplements, from recovery enhancing amino-vitamin blends to testosterone boosters, promise to help pack on the muscle, and some of these are clinically proven to be effective. Another type of supplement has been extensively researched in recent years, and it can benefit training efforts in unexpected ways.

Probiotics Maintain Immune Function
the human body lives in a symbiotic relationship with many different species of bacteria. A number of these are gut microflora, and their roles in metabolic function are only beginning to be understood. However, researchers have cataloged numerous benefits of having a healthy microbial population in the digestive system, and some of these benefits are of direct concern to body-builders and other athletes

As any experienced trainer knows, even slight changes to the schedule can dramatically reduce progress. A regular workout schedule is important to increasing muscle mass. Health problems can get in the way by disrupting the schedule. Though the common cold, flus and other infections were once simply suffered and accepted, research on probiotics has shown that supplementation can significantly improve immune function.(1)

This action is not limited to preventing infections. Research has also shown that probiotics are immunoregulatory, meaning that they moderate immune responses. Seasonal allergies are a problem from many trainers, as they can reduce oxygen flow and hence nutrient circulation. Probiotics help the immune response to stay balanced and prevent out of control immune response.(2)

Getting the Most from Every Bite
Athletes consume more food both for the energy needed in workouts and to increase mass. Optimizing the digestive system results in more efficient use of food and better absorption of micro-nutrients. Beneficial bacteria play the largest role here, as they are responsible for processing soluble fiber, capturing minerals, producing vitamins, and maintaining intestinal integrity. the improvements in sports performance witnessed with the use of probiotics can be largely tied to this role in enhancing digestion.(3)

Supplement Options
In response to growing knowledge of these positive benefits, many have started eating more yogurt and using specialty drinks, such as kefir, to increase digestive bacteria. Studies have not compared powder supplements with these food ones, so this may be an effective course. However, it should be noted that powder supplements typically contain a wider range of species at much higher concentrations than those found in yogurt or drinks.

It is still unknown whether certain species may be better for a specific goal, so it makes sense to choose a supplement with more identified species. It is known that some conditions can deplete microflora populations, and these should be treated with concentrated supplements to restore digestive function. Such conditions include:

prolonged stress
illness, especially when treated with antibiotics trauma, both physical and emotional poor diet

Choosing the best supplement can be perplexing, as there are many options from local health stores and online retailers. It is important to remember that probiotics are a living supplement When stored in dry conditions at low temperatures, they can keep for months before losing efficacy. Unfortunately, those months often involve truck transport and exposure to heat. Ordering them online from a reputable business will also result in some transport, but this can be minimized.

A doctor or other medical professional may be able to offer suggestions for finding a reputable retailer of probiotics, as well as provide advice on the efficacy of supplements containing different species. Consumer forums are also valuable sources of information on companies, dosing, and answers to common questions.

Sources Including:
(1) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-08/msl-nss082208.php
(2) http://www.bpgastro.com/article/S1521-6918%2803%2900075-1/abstract

By John Micheal

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