Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
When athletes experience nausea, cramps, bloating, pain, diarrhea, and respiratory infections during or after long, exhausting events, the balance of gut bacteria has been disrupted, according to a review of studies published in the European Journal of Sport Science. Because gut bacteria play a vital role in maintaining a healthy immune system, they affect many aspects of physical function, above and beyond digestion. Research shows that replenishing beneficial bacteria with probiotic supplements may improve the body’s ability to withstand athletic competition or to help fitness buffs recover from intense exercise.