What To Eat For Optimal Sports Performance (Part 1)
PROBIOTICS – WHATS A PROBIOTIC?
Your diet and when you eat should be just as important as your training program if you’re a strength athlete looking to get stronger. You need to maintain a tight grip on your diet, look at your food as fuel to get you through the workout and help you build. Your food intake needs to be calorie sufficient depending upon what your weight goals are. But how do you know your gut and digestive system are in a healthy state that will allow you to absorb your food intake? That should get you thinking? Before we get into this, its time for an interesting fact.
Modern life has become so fast that a large part of our society gets very little rest. Ultimately this leads
to being stressed. But did you know that if you are stressed out, protein will do you good? When you are stressed typically you will be in a bad mood, your posture suffers and that can lead to tight or strained muscles. Stress therefore has an impact on tissue breakdown, which you can help rebuild with a healthy intake of protein-based foods. Secondly, protein consumption will help elevate your mood, as protein can help balance out your bodies blood sugar levels.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Get your protein in, and feel happy!
WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?
Probiotics are live bacteria and or a type of yeast that is good for your health and in particular for your digestive system. They are described as good bacteria because of their good qualities. From my experience probiotics are generally overlooked by strength athletes, but if you begin supplementing with them or eating foods with probiotics, you would be doing yourself a favor.
Probiotics can be found in foods such as yogurt, kefir, raw cheese, apple cider vinegar and vegetables like cabbage that are pickled. However, they are also available in a supplement form.
WHAT DO PROBIOTICS DO?
Probiotics have many health benefits, here we will only discuss the qualities that matter to a strength athlete.
Have you ever heard of leaky gut syndrome? This is a condition that possibly many people have but they
do not know. Below are some of the signs of a leaky gut syndrome:
• Gas and bloating
• Regular diarrhea
• Poor immune system
• Lack of mental clarity
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which the walls of your intestine are damaged causing undigested food particles, toxic waste and bacteria to leak through the intestine and enter your blood stream.
Therefore, the walls of your intestine become permeable. The introduc tion of foreign bodies entering your blood-stream can cause an inflammatory reaction, an irritable bowel, fatigue and possibly can lead to rheumatoid arthritis. Once the wall of your intestine is damaged, the cells are unable to produce the necessary digestive enzymes, to aid full digestion. Therefore, your body is unable to assimilate the valuable nutrients from the food taken in. This condition can lead to a weak immune system and a hormonal imbalance.
The presence of probiotics will help heal the intestinal permeability by replenishing good bacteria in the gut. This good bacteria will also reduce the bad bacteria, support communication between the brain and the digestive tract, and very importantly heal the inflammation.
WHAT CAUSES THE DAMAGE?
The damage caused to the digestive tract can be attributed to certain foods, alcohol, stress and even injuries.
Let's focus on diet.
Foods that have been known to cause leaky gut syndrome are the following:
• Processed sugar (natural sugar from fruits etc. may be consumed)
• Additives, artificial flavorings, processed foods
I am not suggesting that you do away with these foods, my suggestion is that if you think you may be possibly suffering from this condition, consult your physician. In my experience I have noticed that if I
overdo wheat, flour-based foods such as bread, biscuits etc. I notice that I feel bloated and unsettled. As an experimentm, I went without bread for 2 months and noticed I did not have any issues. I don’t think I’m allergic to wheat and flour, but I’m obviously somewhat sensitive. So, now I still eat bread but just not as much, maybe 2 times a week or so.
Leaky gut syndrome can also be caused by medications, such as antibiotics and pain relievers. Antibiotics will destroy the environment in your gut killing off the good bacteria and swinging the balance in favor of the bad bacteria. This is why many people end up with diarrhea as a result of taking antibiotics.
WHAT TYPES PROBIOTICS ARE THERE?
There are many strains of bacteria that are classified as probiotics, however most probiotics primarily come from 2 groups. These are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, both strains can be found in foods such as yogurt, but you can also take probiotic supplements that are easily available at your local grocery store.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PROBIOTICS?If you’re a strength athlete, the biggest benefit you will realize by introducing probiotics be the inflammation of your
digestive tract, and thereby improving the efficiency of how well the body assimilates the food. Another massive benefit will be the uptick in your energy levels, as your body become a food burning machine (better digestion) giving you increased energy levels. Other improvements you may notice are a stronger immune system, healthy skin and a lowered cholesterol level.
TAKE AWAY MESSAGE
If you have never looked into probiotics, give them a try and see if you notice a difference. You may find that you were not able to put on muscle mass, were stuck in your lifts, feeling stale and fatigued, probiotics will help to fix this issue and get your body moving again.
Please feel free to leave your comments, I would like to hear from athletes who have used probiotics and noticed a general improvement in your performance, and also if any of you did not realize any benefits?
If you have any questions regarding this article, please feel free to ask your questions. Till the next time my friends………………...CONQUER STRENGTH & STAY D3!
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