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What Your Workout Might Be Missing – How Prebiotics Could Help?

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In sports, your body needs to be in peak condition to get the competitive edge – supporting your gut microbiome could mean the difference between good performance and a great one.

Ensuring your diet is packed with naturally occurring prebiotics, and bridging any potential gap by taking Bimuno prebiotic supplements, might be what your body needs to succeed.

Grow your own: Prebiotics promote probiotics

We’ve all heard of probiotics, the ‘good’ bacteria that live in your gut – they come to us via food, and supplements can help you increase how many you take in. They help regulate the immune system and aid digestion – but when ingested, they don’t survive well in the body; hence you need a high intake to see any benefit from taking them.

Prebiotics can help you get the most out of the beneficial bacteria in your gut – they’re complex carbohydrate that feeds the ‘good’ bacteria, helping them grow and multiply.

Bimuno is a unique prebiotic fibre that contains galactooligosaccharides (GOS) which help to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

In sports, your gut matters

Nutrition has long been acknowledged as a crucial ingredient in sporting success but taking care of your gut – alongside a nutritionally optimised diet – should be a feature in every athlete’s health arsenal.

  • Approximately 70% of the immune system is within the gut. Athletes’ immunity can worsen due to excessive training, stress, disturbed sleep and environmental extremes.
  • A healthy gut microbiome can support your cognitive performance, improving memory and focus – essential for many endurance and team sports.
  • Studies have found that a strain of the healthy bacterium (Veillonella) found in the gut may help with processing lactate. That means a reduction in the build-up of fatigue-causing lactic acid.

Prebiotics can balance the impact of your protein supplements

Studies have suggested that even a slight increase in protein intake, like 20g of protein supplementation in athletes, decreases health-promoting bacteria in the microbiota.

Bimuno Research and Development Director, Dr Lucien Harthoorn, explains how you can counteract the potential impact of protein supplementation on your gut: ‘When starting a new exercise regime, you may focus on increasing your protein intake and forget about your fibre intake.’

‘Suppose you have a higher protein or amino acid intake. In that case, it may shift your gut microbiome towards proteolytic fermentation, reducing short-chain fatty acid metabolic production. This can impact your gut microbiome.’

‘It’s important to look after your diet and ensure that you still meet the recommended fibre intake. If you struggle with this, taking a supplement like Bimuno can bridge that gap to help you meet your goals.’

Working out in the heat – how a healthy gut can help

Considering heat and hydration are crucial when exercising in higher temperatures. Dehydration can have a markedly negative effect on your athletic performance, potentially also causing.

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) complaints such as bloating, diarrhoea, and flatulence
  • Prolonged recovery times
  • Reduced endurance
  • Increased risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion

Dehydration isn’t just about water, however. Fibre influences how food and water move through the body and can help prevent excessive water loss.

Dietitian, Laura Tilt, explains how fibre works in the body: ‘When it comes to feeding your gut microbes, fibre is arguably the most important nutrient you can consume. Fibre is the name for carbohydrates not broken down or absorbed by humans, which means that they move through the gut and land in the large intestine.

Some types of fibre help add bulk to our poo, helping with regular bowel movements. Other fibres absorb water, helping soften our poo, making it easier to pass. So, all in all, it’s a really important nutrient for gut health.

Case study with Bimuno

We’ve spoken to Bimuno Research and Development director and long-distance runner Dr Lucien Harthoorn to discover more about how prebiotics has helped support him.

Training regime 

‘I’m a 50-year-old, long-distance runner (roughly from 520 km) who runs around three times per week. I opt for this type of endurance sport to keep my stamina and overall fitness at a good level at all ages. I occasionally participate in either local or national races.’

‘On top of that, I aim to complete two-to-three weight training sessions, but I must be careful not to gain too much muscle as it may impact my running and performance times.’

Benefits of taking Bimuno

‘I’ve been taking Bimuno for two and half years now, and I feel overall very good with it. Before taking the supplement, I suffered from some but not extensive gut discomfort (mostly irregularity).’

‘It even happened at a race a few years ago, meaning I had to stop halfway. That’s very frustrating, and the fact that I was worried it could happen made me feel stressed. Bimuno helps my bowel regularly, making me feel better physically and mentally. I don’t have to worry about sudden bowel movements during runs or workouts.’

‘Lastly, I believe I may have benefited from plugging my daily gap regarding fibre intake by taking Bimuno. I’m very conscious about eating a healthy diet, but I take branched-chain amino acid supplements for my weight training, which may drive a more proteolytic fermentation in my gut.’

Harthoorn is an amateur runner seeing the benefits of using Bimuno, but the same goes for UK’s 60m sprint champion Adam Thomas.    

‘Bimuno has seamlessly fallen into my daily life. I’ve suffered from gut issues in the past, but since taking Bimuno, my confidence has soared because I know I’m working towards a healthy gut. The small sachets are so convenient; no need for a scoop or measure. Just tear them and drop them straight into my morning water.’

‘I was pleased with how well the powder mixes with water, and you don’t have excess at the bottom of the glass. Bimuno seems to dissolve into the liquid within a few minutes. Bimuno sachets are perfect as I often just take a backpack to the track, gym or travel around Europe for racing, so space is vital!

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