Probiotics and Sport

As well as ensuring all of our products are made to the highest manufacturing standards, it is also important to us to be at the front of the latest research and knowledge of different supplements. The bacterial strains used in our Probiotics range (Lab4) has previously been used in UK studies performed in Cambridge and Sheffield and have shown that 2 capsules (25 billion) can provide benefits in supporting digestive and immune health. As part of a new series of studies, we are also now beginning research to see what effect the probiotics can have on gastrointestinal health in individuals who take part in regular intense exercise, and even if they can improve sports performance.

The strains used in our Intensive training probiotic have been used in published research and a number of benefits have already been shown;

–  When runners supplemented with Lab4 probiotics for 4 weeks and asked to run to exhaustion in the heat, they were able to run for ~15% longer compared to when they had taken the placebo (Shing et al., 2014)

–  In ironman triathletes, participants supplemented with probiotics or placebo for 12 weeks. Those taking probiotics had a 10% quicker overall race time than those on the placebo – although this did not reach statistical significance. Those taking probiotics also suffered from fewer and less severe gut symptoms (e.g. bloating, urge to defecate, nausea, etc.) during training compared to the placebo group. (Roberts et al., 2016)

–  Runners competing in the Marathon des Sables (often called the toughest race on the planet) had an overall race time that was 12% quicker after supplementing with Lab4 probiotics compared to placebo (Marshall et al.m 2017)

Dr Jamie Pugh, has spent the last 4 years at Liverpool John Moores University, and has been performing studies looking at the effects intense exercise can have on our digestive system, what symptoms these may cause, and has even started to catalogue how prevalent these symptoms may be in elite sport. Jamie has completed ground-breaking research to see if probiotics can help improve the rate of digestion during exercise, and reduce the associated symptoms of bloating and nausea that can occur when we mix eating and exercise.

While the results from the 2 studies are yet to be published, we can share some of the take home findings. In the first study, Jamie looked to see if probiotics could help athletes who consume carbohydrate drinks during exercise. After 4 weeks supplementing with probiotics, athletes were able to use more of the carbohydrate drink they consumed compared to placebo. This could have performance benefits to any endurance athlete, and could also reduce the risk of gut symptoms due to carbohydrate malabsorption during exercise.

In the second study, Jamie looked at the effects of probiotic supplementation on gastrointestinal damage and symptoms during endurance exercise, we recruited 26 participants to run an entire marathon race around the athletics track (just over 105 laps). The aims of the study were to see if probiotics could reduce the gut symptoms many runners face during training and racing. The main conclusion of the study was athletes had fewer days were they experienced gut discomfort during training and they had less severe symptoms during the marathon itself. There was also a relationship between the level of gut discomfort and how much runners slowed down during the final third of the race. As the probiotic runners had less severe symptoms, they did not slow down as much, and so they actually performed better than the placebo group. This study therefore adds to the growing body of evidence showing that Lab4 can improve athletic performance.

All together, more and more evidence is mounting that shows that for athletes, Lab4 probiotics (the ones used in our Intensive Training Probiotics) can reduce symptoms of gut discomfort during training and competition, and can also improve performance.

Intensive-Training-Probiotic

Save 20% on Intensive Training Probiotic Complex

Our probiotic developed specifically for sport and training
25 Billion viable cells per capsule
Help aid digestion during intense exercise
Contains extensively studied Lab4 consortium

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