The most significant difference between you and that athlete at the gym might not be all the muscles. It might be what’s in his gut. And we’re not talking about six-packs and jelly rolls here. Gut microbes could be giving that athlete his edge on you.
Gut microbes that flourish in the guts of runners boosted the amount of time that lab mice ran on a treadmill, says a report from Nature Medicine. These gut microbes serve as tiny personal trainers rooting you on, bringing you water, and pushing you to your limits.
What Are Gut Microbes?
The human body is its ecosystem and comprises trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Gut microbes take in lactate, produced by the muscles during exercise, and turn it into a compound that appears to help with endurance. Microbes in the gut break down fiber, carbohydrates, and proteins. They can affect inflammation, stress, and neurofunction.
But can gut microbes turn you into the next LeBron James? Could elite athletes pass on their microbial capabilities? And would they be able to turn their gut microbes into a line of physical performance probiotics?
Researchers say that bacteria may affect all sorts of health and disease. Athletes and even your everyday Joe may be able to one day inoculate themselves with tiny gut microbes that can make a person run faster, jump higher, and recover more quickly. As your trainer, the right gut microbes might know just what your muscles need better than you do.
⇒ Exercise Impacts the Gut Microbiome:
Everything that lives in your gut is a gut microbiome. This microbiome is like a terrarium in your gut. Except it’s not closed off from the outside world. It’s full of life. Healthy microbes make being healthy overall easier. It can help with weight maintenance. Bacteria that improves the gastrointestinal lining barrier functions can fight metabolic diseases.
The gut’s microbiome impacts in the following ways. It reduces inflammation, boosts energy levels, and improves mental strength. It shapes ideal body composition, strengthens bones, and makes nutrient absorption efficient. These can elevate hydration, improve sleep, and enhances the body’s defenses.
There is a spectrum of microbiome composition. At one end lies sedentary microbes and at the other are the ultra athlete’s microbes. It’s like choosing between your amateur health coach friend and Kevin Durant’s trainer.
⇒ Improve Your Gut Microbes:
Nutrition plays an important role in gut health. But different diets work for different people. Adding nitrate-rich foods can boost nitric oxide levels. In turn, nitric oxide contributes to vessel dilation and increased blood flow. People can find out the status of their microbiome by following suggestions here.
Sports drinks that are high in carbohydrates can have a negative impact. A carbohydrate source with both fructose and sucrose result in easier digestibility. Just like your muscles, the gut has to be trained to work under stressful conditions. Consume the same foods, drinks, and supplements on big training days that you’ll have on race day.
⇒ Get a Competitive Edge from Gut Microbes:
You could use millions of personal trainers when you set out to get in shape, improve your athleticism, or crush your competition. Hire the best. Then put them to work in your microbiome by exercising and eating well.
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