Our digestive systems ‘ microbes can influence our wellbeing. From our mental health to our weight and disease sensitivity can be trace back to the status of our gut. So it would not be wrong to say that it affects sports performance too.
We have thousands of microorganisms residing inside us and are doing their work behind the scenes. Each individual’s gut microbiome is different to others. An autistic child’s gut bacteria content feels substantially distinct from that of the general population.
The intestinal bacteria change how we store fat, alters blood glucose levels , our response to satiety hormones, functions of kidneys & liver and affects our immune system too. Status of our gut microbiome can define and set stage for future diseases like obesity and diabetes.
The microbiome in your gut keeps changing i.e. if we can bring positive dietary changes, the response can be influenced. For athletes it can mean better endurance, recovery and higher fitness levels.
A gut microbiome comparision study by Havard scientists showed that gut microbiome of athletes from 2 different sport backgrounds were different. Hence they cannot be eating the same foods. Their nutrition approach has to be customized.
How microbiome affects sports performance
1) Energy Levels
A healthy gut microbiome will boost body’s energy levels. It helps enhance the performance by increasing ATP levels, transporting essential microbolites to mitochondria and enhancing recovery by breaking down lactic acids efficiently.
2) Extract maximum out of food
A healthy microbiome is crucial for adequate absorption and use of nutrients. If your gut microbiome is poor, it will struggle to survive and won’t be able to extract vital vitamins, proteins, and bacteria . The gut microflora turns the food that cannot be processed by your digestive tract into nutrients that you need to live. Athletes thrive when their gut thrives.
3) Strengthen the defense system
The antioxidant defense system uses antioxidant enzymes to keep an athlete fit and healthy. The gut microbiome regulates the defense system. It prevents exercise induced oxidative stress, lowers fatigue and enhances performance. Intensive training generates free radicals in large quantities which is more than what our body can handle. This leaves athletes vulnerable to oxidative stress and more likely to develop harmful inflammation.
The gut microbiome performs a major role in either increasing or reducing inflammation levels in the body. Not only inflammation slows down recovery & affects athletic performance but also can lead to mnay chronic diseases. An imbalanced gut microbiome is associated with increased inflammatory conditions, so keeping a good microbiome is essential to regulate inflammation level in the body.
5) Mental health
Gut microbiome has a huge role to play in strengthening our mental health. There is a gut- brain link which transfers information and affects functions. An imbalanced gut can lead to issues like anxiety & depression and affects cognitive functions of brain. The shelf life of professional athletes is relatively low and they cannot afford to crumble under pressure. An imbalance gut microbiome also affects sleep quality as it influence the production of melatonin in the body , which is associated with proper functioning of sleep- wake cycle in the body.
Everyone respond to food in their own way. Some can gain 10kgs while others can lose 10 kgs. There is no one standard approach. Each person should eat based on their gut microbiome.
The customized nutrition plan at QUA Nutrition Clinics is based on individuals gut microbiome. We study, analyze and understand the individual’s gut microbiome and provide nutrition recommendations in order to enhance production of healthy microbolites and minimize production of harmful microbolites. This not only helps our athletes to boost their performance but also improve their general well being and helps in leading a healthy lifestyle.
For a high performance Sports Nutrition plan contact us on 9743430000. You can also write to us at https://quanutrition.com/Contact.html.
Ryan Fernando is an Award-winning celebrity Sports Nutritionist with 2GUINNESS world record and 2 Olympic medals under his belt. His client list include Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar, cricketer Shikhar Dhawan & bollywood superstars Aamir Khan & Abhishek Bachchan. He is Chief Nutritionist at QUA Nutrition Signature Clinics.