Probiotics For Athletes: Can They Help With Weight Loss, Muscle Growth, Recovery & Performance?

Probiotics For Athletes And Weight Loss… 

In This Article, Probiotics For Athletes and Weight Loss… We Explore How Probiotics Can Potentially Help With Athletic Performance, Bodybuilding And Muscle Growth, As Well As Recovery And Weight Loss. But do the clinical studies and health experts support this evidence? Find out…

Key Takeaways

  • Probiotics can be ingested via both food and nutritional supplements.
  • Probitiotics are microscopic organisms, but good, “friendly” microscopic organisms.
  • The recommended daily dosage of Probiotics is between 1 billion – 10 billion.
  • Probiotics may help with weight loss, muscle  growth and athletic performance.

Probiotics 101

As kids we were all taught to fear germs.  They’re nasty, they’re gross, they make us sick. Remember what your parents always told you: Wash your hands!  Everything has germs!

While it’s absolutely true that surfaces everywhere are covered in microscopic organisms like bacteria and other germies that can make you terribly sick, the fact is that there are many, many microorganisms out there that not only are not malevolent, they’re actually good for you.

Now before go around licking the kitchen floor, let us here at Body360 Fit introduce you to one of the healthiest class of microorganisms out there: probiotics.

According to WebMD, probiotics are microscopic organisms that live within animals’ intestines and help along the digestive process.  There are hundreds of different types of probiotics living inside of us constantly, and most of them–the so-called “good bacteria–fight off other germs and bacteria that are harmful to us (yep, you guessed it, the “bad” ones).

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Probiotics For Athletes: Will It Increase Performance & Recovery?

Ever feel stressed during your workout? Well…not the kind of stress you’re thinking.

But the kind you feel when you’re trying to push, pull, squat or hinge something really heavy.

Well, exercise is a stressor. You load your body so it will adapt, overcome and change.

What’s interesting for athletes, or any fitness enthusiast for that matter, is the research indicates a direct correlation between probiotics and performance and recovery.

According to National Library of Exercise “The capacity for probiotics to modulate perturbations in immune function after exercise highlight their potential for use in individuals exposed to high degrees of physical and environment stress.” (1)

Cliffs Notes Summary: Probiotics help you recover faster! 

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Probiotics For Athletes And Muscle Growth: Can Probiotics Help Bodybuilders?

So you like to lift heavy weights ehhh?

If you find do, you’ll find the study on Lactobacillus Plantarum Supplementation ImprovIng Exercise Performance and Increasing Muscle Mass to be of great interest then.

It appears that muscle growth is no longer limited to just lifting heavy dumbbells followed by downing a dozen chicken breasts and a protein shake.

The research study performed at the National Taiwan Sport University found a direct link between probiotics and muscle growth. 

According to a study conducted on mice at the National Taiwan Sport University “Long-term supplementation with LP10 may increase muscle mass, enhance energy harvesting, and have health-promotion, performance-improvement, and anti-fatigue effects.”

Now granted the study was conducted on mice, not humans, but the idea that a tiny probiotic capsule could increase muscle mass, performance and fatigue is worth investing in.

I’m gonna hedge my bets by taking the probiotic capsule daily. 

News Flash For Bodybuilders: Keep scooping the probiotic filled yogurt cups and probiotic capsules while spinning those barbell plates. If this study is accurate you’ll be packing on new found muscle in no time flat.

Probiotics For Athletes And Weight Loss: Can Probiotics Help With Weight Loss And A Flatter Stomach?

Wait– What? Probiotics help me lose weight?

Errr…uhhh – Not so fast! A flatter stomach possibly, but weight loss, we’re not so sure.

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While the evidence does support less “belly bloat” aka “a flatter tummy”, it seems to be limited to just that–a flatter stomach that protrudes less.

Experts say this could simply stem from more bathroom regularity (which is not so bad.)

I know what you’re thinking…Who wants to spend more time in the bathroom? (And I agree.)

But with that said, talking probiotics and regular bathroom breaks seems like a much easier way to become visibly smaller than sweating off the pounds at equinox or soul cycle. Wouldn’t you agree?

The Bottom Line : It doesn’t look like you can cancel your gym membership just yet.

But this certainly doesn’t mean you should swear off probiotics altogether either. There’s an amazing upside to probiotics and how they can positively impact gut health, energy, and your immune system.

So keep reading to find out how you can easily get more healthy bacteria (probiotics) on a daily basis.

How Get More Probiotics Into Your Diet

You can up your body’s quotient of probiotics via both food and nutritional supplements.

Here’s How With Food:

One of the most common places where you’ll find–and ingest–probiotics is in the dairy aisle of your local grocery store, most often in yogurt form.  In fact, entire sections of the yogurt section are now devoted specifically to probiotic formulas alone.

Example: Activia = Probiotics–It’s in there!

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Take note, unless it specifically states on the label that it has probiotics, it likely does not. So do your research.

Eating probiotic yogurt can restore the digestive system’s “balance” of good and bad bacteria.  This can help with feelings of bloating and indigestion, (remember I mentioned a flatter stomach earlier) and also restore balance following a course of antibiotics, which upset the body’s microorganic balance.

WebMD says that one 6-ounce yogurt dose will give you about 9 grams of protein, as well as calcium, vitamin B-2, B-12, potassium and magnesium. That’s not so bad, is it?

Here’s How With Probiotic Supplements:

And yes, probiotics can also be ingested in supplement form–pills, powders and capsules (you’re welcome; that’s why we’re here!)

Probiotic Dosage

According to Harvard, the recommended daily dosage is from 1 billion to 10 billion colony-farming units (CFU), which, though it sounds ginormous, is actually just the amount contained in a single capsule or two.

Harvard further says that a daily supplement taken for only one to two weeks can relieve antibiotic-related diarrhea.

The university points out that it is important that the probiotics be alive when you ingest them (no, not ew!), meaning supplements should be stored away from heat, moisture or excessive exposure to air, all of which can kill them and thus end their healthfulness.

Some even require refrigeration, so keep all of this in mind if you do in fact go the supplement route.

BTW–The refrigerated kind are more expensive. 

Conclusion

So we’ve learned today, there’s a direct correlation between probiotics for athletes and muscle growth and recovery, but no direct correlation between probiotics for athletes and weight loss.

We’ve also discovered that, indeed, not ALL bacteria are bad; in fact, many billions (yes, billions) are actually good for you, including probiotics, which you can ingest in both yogurt and supplement form.

So mold your own opinions regarding the tie between probiotics and muscle growth, recovery and exercise performance.

But at minimum, make time for your daily dose of yogurt, bottle of kefir or probiotic capsule. It will keep your body’s magic elixir of digestive processes working properly and keep your immune system healthy.

Best in health,

Christian

PS. Did you find this article on probiotics useful?  Do you have a probiotic supplement or yogurt brand that’s Chock-Full-O-Probiotics that you’ve benefited from? Then please do drop a note in the comments below.

PPS. Since you care about your health and you finished this article, perhaps you’ll find my post on Alpha Lipoic Acid and Mucuna Pruriens L-Dopa to be of intererest. 

Here They Are:

All About Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Mucuna Pruriens L-Dopa: Is It In Your Preworkout Or Dietary Supplement?

Citations:

1. West NP, Pyne DB, Peake JM, Cripps AW. Probiotics, immunity and exercise: a review. Exerc Immunol Rev. 2009;15:107-126. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19957873/

2. Chen, Y.-M.; Wei, L.; Chiu, Y.-S.; Hsu, Y.-J.; Tsai, T.-Y.; Wang, M.-F.; Huang, C.-C. Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance and Increases Muscle Mass in Mice. Nutrients 20168, 205. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/8/4/205#abstractc

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