Why Every Bodybuilder Should Take Probiotics

The benefits for a probiotic go far beyond better digestion.

Many associate probiotics as simply a supplement to aid in digestion and keep you running regularly. But the benefits of probiotics, especially for bodybuilders, goes far beyond simply that. Research has proven that bacteria found in your gut has great benefit to your health and athletic performance, making this a staple for a bodybuilder’s diet. Probiotics are great for gaining muscle and with a regular source of them, your chance at optimal muscle growth greatly increase.

What Are Probiotics?

Your body is full of good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are considered to be the good guys and are live bacteria and yeasts that have a plethora of benefits, most notably in your digestive system to help keep it clean. By keeping your gut clean, probiotics have been proven to increase muscle growth as a result of providing your body with the essential tools to better absorb nutrients from your food. So, a cleaner gut equals more nutrients which equals more muscle growth. Stress is known to damage your muscles and probiotics aids in the regulation of the production of stress as well. While you can get probiotics from supplements, much of the food we eat also contains plenty of this good bacteria.

Types Of Probiotics

Two of the most common groups of probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Each of these has different species, resulting in different strains, so it is important to find the right one for you. A general rule when choosing a probiotic is that more strains are better. This will increase the chances that at least one, or several, will colonize in your gut. The label will also have a number in the billions, which is the number of bacteria that form colonies, also called Colony Forming Units (CFU). Roughly three billion CFU’s is a reasonable starting number for a healthy adult, but again, it all depends on how you feel and adjust to taking probiotics.

Benefits Of Probiotics

The benefits of probiotics are what bodybuilders will love. A solid ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria has been shown to improve blood lipid levels, reduced muscle damage, and better recovery. It can influence a bodybuilders body mass composition, which is the proportion of fat and non-fat mass in the body. Through this, the ability for muscle growth is increased and those gains will come to fruition. The impact on recovery is due to the fact it can reduce inflammation so that stress endured during the workout won’t punish you later.

Helping to boost your metabolism is key for you can eat more frequently and without worrying about packing on the pounds, keeping your body fueled and engaged. With its well-known benefits of promoting healthy digestion, your body is able to absorb more of those essential nutrients and provide you with the much-needed energy to fuel those grueling workouts.

Probiotics have also been shown to increase mental health including attitude, mood, and your level of pain tolerance. These are important to training for how you feel is how you act. If you feel great, you are more likely to work hard in the gym and those gains are sure to show. While it could go without saying, all of these benefits are connected to complete a well-rounded training cycle. A boost in your metabolism will keep your body regularly absorbing those essential nutrients and allow for increased muscle growth. Reducing inflammation will aid in recovery and your mindset will be there to work hard and improve endurance to make those lasting effects count.

Foods With Good Bacteria

Probiotic Foods

Yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of probiotics for it starts as milk and is then fermented using the live cultures of good bacteria. Even after processing, many of these good bacteria stick around. The probiotics that exist in yogurt will promote a healthy gut and the high calcium count is a benefit for strong bones.

Probiotic Foods

Kombucha

Kombucha has been on the rise as a health trend and the reasons are obvious. It is a drink created from fermented black or green tea along with sugar, yeast, and bacteria. It promotes better digestion and is also linked to being an immune booster and can support joint health. It also aids in the natural detoxification of your liver.

Probiotic Foods

Sauerkraut

This sour and salty cabbage is a great source of probiotics and is rich is lactic acid bacteria. Although high in sodium, sauerkraut has good levels of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Probiotic Foods

Dark chocolate

While chocolate does not contain probiotics, it can help them survive the high levels of acidity in the digestive tract making it a good carrier. Probiotics can be added to dark chocolate and it will help them survive. Dark chocolate is an antioxidant rich superfood which is beneficial to your overall health and wellness.

Probiotic Foods

Tempeh

Tempeh is a popular meat substitute derived from fermented soybeans. Since fermentation requires good levels of live bacteria, tempeh is full of them. As a great alternative protein source, tempeh is full of probiotics and vitamin B12.

Probiotic Foods

Cheese

Cheese is a great source of probiotics because good bacteria can survive the process of cheese-making. As a solid source of protein, cheese is a great food to add to your diet for more than just the good bacteria. Whether it be mozzarella, cheddar, cottage cheese, gouda, or feta, all contain probiotic properties to give you that solid boost of good bacteria.

Wrap Up

Probiotics are a great way to boost your training and bring you to the next level. With so much to offer, the benefits should make you want to try them and see for yourself what they can do. With their ability to promote good digestion, absorb those much needed nutrients, support muscle growth, and help your overall mental state, probiotics are worth looking into if you’re a bodybuilder seeking big gains. Try as a supplement or incorporate more of these foods that have good bacteria into your diet and help yourself look and feel great.

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*Images courtesy of Envato

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Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.