It’s been said that probiotics can play an important role is sports nutrition, with everything from recovery to muscle building. However, the sporting world is highly regulated, with only certain medicines and nutrients being approved by the sporting bodies. With this in mind, is it possible that probiotics are almost providing an unfair advantage for some athletes? See below a synopsis as to whether probiotics provide a competitive edge in sports nutrition:

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed as probiotic capsules from or through foods. They are particularly good for your digested system, one of the most common reasons they’re used is to help maintain a healthy gut. They’re often referred to as “good bacteria”. Many athletes choose to consume probiotics because for them, a healthy and well-balanced gut can protect against pathogens and provide the right vitamins and nutrients that help to form the immune system. Having a strong immune system is vital for competing athletes.

How Can They Affect Sports?

For athletes and fitness fanatics, optimizing digestion and maintaining a healthy gut are crucial factors to improve performance. Researchers have been looking into the significant benefits that probiotics can provide, assessing whether they pose an unfair advantage for those who are not consuming probiotics.

It’s not surprising that athletes and sports enthusiasts have to be incredibly thoughtful with what they put into their bodies, as an athlete has high nutritional needs which are best met when the digestive system is well-functioning. Healthy bacteria in the gut can allow for optimized nutrition intake. Some probiotic tablets can play a role in use of protein for muscle growth, promoting the bodies recovery from injuries also.

A Competitive Edge

Because of the helpful nature of probiotics, it’s argued that they should be considered a banned substance for training athletes. Probiotics can aid the body’s response period for muscle recovery, while also helping to provide all the right nutrients to build muscle. Though probiotics are proven to be extremely beneficial, there are many that are opposed to the banning of them as they are simply viewed as a healthy addition to one’s diet.

Sports Nutrition Rules And Regulations

Sports governing bodies are incredibly strict on the consumption of performance enhancing substances. The opposition argues that surely a simple probiotic can’t be considered as performance enhancing supplement, rather simply a way to help the body through the rigorous sports training process. At the moment, the notion of probiotics being banned is just that – an idea. There’s no evidence to suggest that probiotics will be deemed an illegal substance by sports federations.