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A Healthy Gut and Athletic Performance

By    |   Tuesday, 08 December 2015 08:58 PM

Athletes tend to perform better when they are healthy, and a big part of that is having a healthy gut.

Nutra Ingredients-USA.com reported athletes
have high prevalence of nausea, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea due to increased blood moving to muscles and the heart, reducing the flow going to the intestines and leaving athletes more likely to contract an infection.

Most of the absorption of nutrients needed to recover from intensive exercise occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, Synergy Health & Wellness reported. The process necessitates sufficient digestive enzymes for athletes to break down their food for proper intake of vitamins and minerals.

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Additionally, Synergy Health & Wellness noted the importance the gut has on immunity. More than 70 percent of the immune system’s cells are found in the small and large intestines. These cells help in regulating inflammation, important in the healing of injuries, and infections.

Studies also show the gut can affect mental health.

Hormones released during vigorous exercise, including adrenaline and cortisol, cause the development of stress, Strong Athlete reported.

Through two-way communication via the vagus nerve, the bacteria in the intestine can affect stress levels and vice versa, according to Synergy Health & Wellness.

The connection between the brain and gut means the enteric nervous system regulates the gastrointestinal tract — in addition to heart rate and blood pressure, important measurements for athletic performance.

Some studies report in athletes and active individuals, probiotics can help to keep the gut healthy and keep antigens and other invaders outside of the immune system, according to Nutra Ingredients-USA.com.

They also assist in promotion of a healthy immune system, Strong Athlete noted.

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When it comes to performance, some probiotics increase certain acids, including lactic acid, a source of energy for athletes, especially in anaerobic exercise, Strong Athlete reported.

A healthy gut also limits intestinal permeability, according to Synergy Health & Wellness. When this permeability increases, the area between the intestinal tract’s cells disappears, allowing the immune system to be exposed to undigested food, which may enter the bloodstream. It may result in challenges with recovery and insulin resistance due to a lack of nutrient absorption.

This triggers an immune system response, causing the body to store glucose so the body can fight infections. With the sugar macromolecules tied up in defending immunity, however, athletes have less access to glucose, which provides energy during exercise.

Having a healthy gut can contribute not only to athletic performance but a healthy life.

Doctor: Not All Probiotics Are the Same, Some Are Dangerous! Read More Here

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Athletes tend to perform better when they are healthy, and a big part of that is having a healthy gut.
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Tuesday, 08 December 2015 08:58 PM
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