Gut Healthy Eating for Sporting Performance


Clean Sport Week

This week is #cleansportweek – a celebration of clean athletes and their success, and an opportunity for the promotion of the work of the anti-doping community in the fight for clean sport.  We look at this and the the importance of gut healthy eating for sporting performance below.

The campaign has a strong focus on supplement use and image-enhancing culture in the UK.  In particular it looks at the impact this is having on the overall health and well-being of enthusiasts who take sports nutrition supplements without getting decent advice first.

Campaign Supporters

It’s being supported by many awards winning athletes.  Two-time Olympic triathlon champion, Alistair Brownlee, said: “Being clean means training hard and knowing exactly what you put into your body. There are no shortcuts to success in sport, it takes lots of hard work and dedication. That’s why I’m supporting Clean Sport Week.”

Gut Healthy Eating for Sporting Performance

There is a call for everyone involved in sport, from grassroots to elite level, to review what they are consuming.

Your #guthealth can have a huge impact on sporting performance.  A comprehensive study in the Journal of Health and Sports Science reviews papers over the past 10 years to draw conclusions on how the gut microbiota may exert beneficial effects on elite athletes.  You can download the study directly from the Science Direct page.  The review uncovered how exercise impacts on the gut and on other bodily functions, and also that extent to which probiotics, in conjunction with diet composition and type of exercise and intensity, affect health and exercise performance in athletes.

There are few studies on the impact of prebiotic (dietary fibre) consumption, although there is an understanding of the basic impact that it has in nourishing the good gut bacteria.

Studies are still in their early days and more are required.  However it is clear that by understanding the impact of gut health and sporting performance we could be much clearer on the role of supplements and how and why a gut healthy diet could be a more natural, healthier alternative.