Restoring you at a home away from home

Probiotics Guide

THE SUPPLEMENT DISCLAIMER
Supplements are the 3rd step in a performance diet. Step 1 - optimized base diet, Step 2 - optimized sports nutrition manipulations using foods, and Step 3 - supplement trials (take note of the word "trials"). If you want to get to the 3rd step work closely with a sports dietitian.


WHAT ARE THEY?

Probiotics are friendly gut bugs that can support the health of your microbiome. What is a microbiome you ask? It is the world of friendly microscopic organisms  that live in you and on you actually outnumbering you. Watch this fantastic 5 minute video to learn about the microbiome. 

 Watch this 5 minute video to get to know your own microbiome.

Watch this 5 minute video to get to know your own microbiome.


REASONS TO TAKE PROBIOTICS

  • defend against harmful bacteria
  • improve metabolism of food
  • restore digestive system health

 

"It's important to know that different strains of probiotics can be better for different people" 

For example,  Lactobacillus acidophilus L92 may help to treat eczema in children (the proof) whereas Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM may reduce the risk of getting a cold or the flu (the proof). These two probiotic strains belong to the same family and species, but are different strains. Check out my dog analogy below if you want to know what I mean when I say strain (really important to understanding how to choose the right probiotic supplement).


WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW ABOUT YOUR MICROBIOME

AGE MATTERS
As you age your good bacteria population decreases.

GENDER MATTERS
Women seem to need more bacteria from the Lactobacillus family to prevent yeast and urinary tract infections and control menopausal symptoms.

HEALTH MATTERS
Unhealthy you = Unhealthy microbiome!

YOUR BIRTH STORY

Smoking and stressed pregnancies, early deliveries, C-sections, formula feeding,  antibiotic use and more all have been shown to lower good bacteria diversity or populations. 

DIET (OF COURSE) MATTERS
Dietary fibre (found mostly in THE SUPERFOODS) acts as prebiotics, the food for our good bacteria. Without food our friends starve and die! (the proof that diet matters)


HOW TO TAKE PROBIOTICS

Look for probiotics belonging to the families:
   - Lactobacillus
   - Bifidobacterium

YOU MIGHT NOT NEED TO LOOK PAST THE FOODS YOU ALREADY KNOW! Probiotic supplementation is not really new. The foods listed below are getting the spotlight after centuries in the diets of many cultures... notice the fermented trend!

- Miso (fermented soy)
- Kimchi (fermented cabbage)
- Kombucha (fermented tea)
- Kefir (fermented milk or juice)
- Yogourt (fermented milk)
- Unpasturized cheese (fermented milk)

IF YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE A SUPPLEMENT make sure the strains are ones that we know actually confer benefits. And, as bacteria in a pill would love to be where there is food, it is best to take probiotic supplements with a meal to ensure many of them survive the trip through your stomach acids.


THE DOG ANALOGY

What is a probiotic strain exactly?

Dog Analogy: The genus or family of a probiotic is similar to a collection of many different dogs. There are multiple species of bacteria within one family. This is the same as  how there are many different breeds of dogs such as golden retrievers or german labradors. However, each dog belonging to the same breed have different traits or behaviours. For example, one golden retriever can tun faster than another. Similarly, each probiotic strain has special characteristics and therefore provide different health benefits such as being better at fighting off harmful bacteria.