Trust Your Gut
Probiotic = A substance that stimulates the growth of microorganisms, especially those with beneficial properties (such as those of the intestinal flora).
Probiotics have become some of the most highly talked about supplements of the last five years. While still in their infancy in terms of supplementation, they have been a dietary staple for thousands of years. Primarily found in foods that are fermented, we are consuming less and less probiotics in our daily meals, as the American diet has progressively moved away from fermentation.
Most people associate bacteria with disease and illness, but there are actually a number of healthy bacterias that help regulate our body’s natural functions.
Probiotics = good bacteria (Just incase you we still haven’t made the connection)
The gut and GI tract are filled with bacteria, both healthy and unhealthy. Over 500 species of bacteria reside in our GI tract alone. That’s why it is important to support the good (healthy) bacteria, as they are literally at war with the bad (unhealthy) bacteria.
Healthy bacteria supports everything from digestion to disease prevention.
There are foods out there that support healthy bacteria growth, such as yogurt, fermented foods, and kefir. However, with limited choices when it comes to easily available fermented foods, in addition to vegan diets and/or lactose intolerance, more and more people are deciding to add probiotic supplements into their daily regimen.
A healthy gut and optimal digestive health also means better absorption of nutrients. For recreational athletes, weight lifters, and CrossFitters alike, this is essential for maximizing nutrition and supplementing properly. Plus you don’t want to experience the negative effects of “Leaky gut syndrome.”
At Frequency, we are always looking for ways to enhance our members immune system as well. When probiotics are in abundance in your body, it’s harder for bacteria that can cause illness to get a foothold. Some also keep you healthy by making bacteriocins, which suppress the growth of harmful bacteria.
(That sounds good, right?)
It’s time that you learned about some of the little friends that help you in so many ways.
(They won’t get offended if you happen to mispronounce their names.)
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus can be found in many yogurts and soft cheeses. It was discovered by the Bulgarian doctor Stamen Grigorov, hence the name bulgaricus. It helps to convert lactose and other sugars into lactic acid, which may be particularly helpful for those who are lactose intolerant.
- Streptococcus thermophilus has nothing to do with strep throat, which is caused by a completely different bug. These friendly bacteria are also used to make yogurts and cheeses, and they even assist Lactobacillus bulgaricus by making nutrients that assist with growth.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei both convert lactose into lactic acid – also helping the lactose intolerant. Research has indicated that L. Acidophilus may also be helpful at reducing cholesterol levels.
- Bifidobacteria is a family of bacteria that has been studied for its ability to prevent and treat various gastrointestinal disorders, including infections, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. In addition to making lactic acid, it also makes some important short-chain fatty acids that are then absorbed and metabolized by the body. There is also some experimental evidence that certain bifidobacteria may actually protect the host from carcinogenic activity of other intestinal flora.
But if this seems like too much to handle on your own, we’d love to help. Supplementation and done for you meal plans are a staple in our 4 Week Fit Body Challenge, a program that never disappoints. Lose weight, build muscle, and make friends as you become the best version of yourself.
All the best 🙂
Riley Phelps, MS CSCS