August 10, 2022

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A stable gut helps elite athletes perform better

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Summary: Short-term high-protein diets have been associated with microbial instability in the gut that appears to hamper the performance of elite athletes.

source: Anglia Ruskin University

New research finds that microbial instability in the gut can hinder the performance of elite athletes, and that short-term, high-protein diets are linked to this type of imbalance.

Researchers from across the UK analyzed the performance and gut health of a group of well-trained endurance runners, to explore the impact of both high-protein and high-carb diets.

The study found that in those following a high-protein diet, this disrupted the stability of the gut microbiome. This was also associated with a 23.3% decrease in trial performance.

The analysis found significantly reduced diversity and change in gut composition, as well as higher levels of certain types of viruses and bacterial compartments. Participants whose gut microbiome was more stable performed better during the time trials.

A gut imbalance affects different people in different ways, but it can manifest in severe symptoms such as cramps or nausea. Because there is crosstalk between the gut and the brain, the authors suggest this may be important.

A high-carbohydrate diet improved trial time performance by 6.5%.

Dr. Justin Roberts, Associate Professor of Health and Nutrition at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and co-author of the study said: “These findings suggest that athletic performance may be related to intestinal microbial stability, with athletes having a more stable microbiome. Communities performance has always been Better in each dietary intervention compared to those with the most disruptive gut microbiota.

A high-carbohydrate diet improved trial time performance by 6.5%. The image is in the public domain

“While we cannot be certain that a high amount of protein in the body was entirely responsible for the significant decrease in time trial performance, it was found that there were certainly changes in the gut microbiome following a short-term high-protein diet that appear to be related to performance.

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“These findings suggest that eating a high-protein diet may negatively affect the gut through an altered microbial pattern, whereas a higher intake of carbohydrates, for example containing a variety of grains and vegetables, was associated with a greater degree of microbial stability. in the intestine.

“The diets were well controlled and carefully balanced, so we believe it is unlikely that the protein itself caused the decrease in performance. Instead, we think it is possible that changes to the gut microbiome could affect gut permeability or nutrient absorption. , or messages between the gut and the brain, affecting perceived effort and thus performance.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Society for Microbiology mSystems It was carried out by researchers from Northumbria University, Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), University of Reading, University of Newcastle, University of Kent, University of Hertfordshire and Northwest University in South Africa.

About this microbiome and diet research news

author: Jimmy Forsyth
source: Anglia Ruskin University
Contact: Jamie Forsyth – Anglia Ruskin University
picture: The image is in the public domain

original search: open access.
Microbial stability in the gut correlates with greater endurance performance in cycle athletesWritten by Justin Roberts et al. mSystems


see also

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Microbial stability in the gut correlates with greater endurance performance in cycle athletes

Nutritional manipulation that is high in protein or carbohydrates is frequently used during elite athlete training, with the goal of improving athletic performance. Such interventions are likely to affect the microbial content in the gut.

This study explored the effect of acute high-protein or carbohydrate diets on measured tolerance performance and associated gut microbial changes.

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In a group of well-matched, highly trained endurance runners, we measured performance outcomes, as well as gut bacterial, viral (FVP) and phage (IV) communities in a randomized, double-blind, repeat-design (RCT) trial to explore the effect of a high-containing dietary intervention of protein or carbohydrates.

The higher dietary carbohydrate improved time trial performance by +6.5% (s <0.03) and was associated with an enlargement of galaxy And the Colesilla bacterial spp.

Conversely, higher dietary protein resulted in a decrease in performance of −23.3% (s = 0.001). This effect was accompanied by a significant decrease in diversity (IV: s= 0.04) and variable composition (IV and FVP: s= 0.02) of gut phage plus enrichment of both free and stimulated Sk1virusAnd the lyukonostokbacterial assemblies.

The best performance during diet modification was observed in participants with less substantial shifts in community composition. Microbial stability in the gut during the acute diet period was associated with greater athletic performance in this highly trained and well-compliant group.

Athletes and their support should be aware of the potential consequences of diet manipulation on gut flora and its effects on performance, and scale appropriately.