Journal Title (Medline/Pubmed accepted abbreviation): Br. J. Sports Med.
Page numbers: 377-378
Summary of the article
Probiotics: Probiotics are live bacteria and archaea that influence the composition and activity of the microbes living in our gut. They are found most commonly in foods like yogurt and, most notably, are thought to aid in our ability to ward off disease. There have been multiple studies performed on the benefits of probiotics for athletes.
- Participants recovered from marathon-induced gastrointestinal symptoms faster when consuming probiotics before and after the marathon.
- Elite distance runners experienced fewer and less severe symptoms of respiratory illnesses when consuming probiotics daily.
- Probiotics aided in the recovery of athletes who presented with fatigue and an impaired immune system.
- During winter training, university athletes who consumed probiotics had fewer upper respiratory tract infections.
Pycnogenol (also known as picnogel or pycnogel)
Pycnogenol is a combination of active compounds, some of which are strong antioxidants, isolated from the bark of the Pinus maritime pine tree. There is very little research on the efficacy of pycnogenol, and it is difficult to evaluate the dosage that is effective. No research is mentioned on the effects of pycnogenol on athletic performance.
Key practice applications
Despite the fact that most studies have been small scale, probiotics have been shown to increase the immune systems of many athletes. Pycnogenol, on the other hand, does not currently have evidence supporting health or performance claims.