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Athletes get more out of proteins with probiotics

Athletes get more out of proteins with probiotics
Fitness fanatics, bodybuilders and other strength athletes recover quicker from training if they use probiotics with their protein preparations. This discovery was made by researchers at the private research organisation Increnovo and the University of Tampa. They used the bacteria Bacillus coagulans GBO-30, 6086, which is already on the market.

The researchers got 29 young men, all of whom had experience in strength training, to do a killing workout for their legs on two separate occasions.

Every day for two weeks preceding one of the workouts, the men consumed 20 g casein. During the two weeks preceding the other workout the men took the same amount of protein, but this time the researchers added 1 billion CFU [colony forming units] of the probiotic bacteria Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086.

Athletes get more out of proteins with probiotics
Bacillus coagulans GBO-30, 6086 is patented by Ganeden Biotech, which also sponsored the study. Ganeden markets the bacteria as GanedenBC30, which is found, among others, in MyoFusion, a protein preparation manufactured by Gaspari Nutrition.

Previously published human studies have shown that supplementation with Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 improves the immune response after viral infection, [Postgrad Med. 2009 Mar;121(2):114-8.] and that the probiotic also reduces the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. [BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Jan 12;10:1.] In addition, the bacteria improve digestion, probably by producing enzymes that boost nutrient uptake. [BMC Gastroenterol. 2009 Nov 18;9:85.]

The researchers wondered whether strength athletes could recover faster from workouts by taking a supplement containing Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086.

When the participants added the probiotic bacteria to their protein they reported a little more post-workout recovery and a little less muscle soreness.

Athletes get more out of proteins with probiotics

The researchers observed that the bacteria had no effect on the concentration of broken down protein in the bloodstream – the concentration of urea – nor did it have any effect on maximal strength or explosive strength. The bacteria did reduce the rise in concentration of creatine kinase in the blood. That would suggest that the probiotic reduced muscle breakdown. POST = 48 hours after the workout.

Athletes get more out of proteins with probiotics

When the researchers got the participants to cycle as hard as they could after the workout they saw that the workout had reduced the power – in other words the speed – that the participants were able to develop. At least, this was the case in the participants that had used ordinary protein. When the participants got the probiotic their power did not decrease.

"The probiotic supplement tended to protect the muscle from damage and may have helped recovery of physical performance," the researchers wrote.

"Further studies should investigate the relationship between direct and indirect (through improved protein utilization) effects of probiotic supplementation and will provide further insights into strategies to influence the gut microbiota to optimize muscle health, specifically in an aging population with impaired nutrient utilization (sarcopenia)."

PeerJ. 2016 Jul 21;4:e2276.

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