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Probiotics for Runners, Creatine for Long COVID, and the Small Difference Between Men and Women at Ultra Distances

Welcome to our weekly summary of the latest research from the world of sports nutrition.

In this week’s summary:


Probiotic Supplementation Might Improve Your Running Performance

A group of three runners on a trail

This study examined the effects of a five-week probiotic supplementation on amateur marathon runners. Nineteen runners were split into two groups: one received a probiotic mix of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum, while the other received a placebo. The study assessed running performance, mood, body composition, gut health, and muscle condition before and after the intervention. The probiotic group showed significant improvements in their 12-minute run performance, gastrointestinal health, and emotional stability. They also had an increase in beneficial gut bacteria and a decrease in harmful bacteria. These results suggest that probiotics can enhance athletic performance and gut health in amateur marathon runners.

Our thoughts: The research on probiotics and performance is scattered at best. This is an interesting result and we would love to see it repeated with a larger sample group. The researchers commented that participants reported fewer stomach issues if they took the probiotics and proposed that this could be a reason for the performance boost.


Creatine Alleviates Symptoms of Long COVID

Blonyx HMB+ Creatine and a shaker cup

This study investigated the effects of an eight-week creatine-glucose supplement on people with long COVID, a condition that causes prolonged symptoms after a COVID-19 infection. Researchers tested three groups: one taking just creatine, another taking a creatine-glucose mix, and a third taking a placebo. They found that both creatine and the creatine-glucose mix significantly increased creatine levels in the brain. Notably, the group taking the creatine-glucose mix experienced significant reductions in symptoms like body aches, breathing problems, difficulty concentrating, headaches, and general discomfort. These results suggest that a creatine-glucose supplement might help alleviate some long COVID symptoms.

Our thoughts: The medical community's interest in creatine continues to gain momentum. This is a significant study that we hope leads to other studies on conditions that cause fatigue. We don't think it'll be long until creatine is widely prescribed by doctors... and maybe even HMB+ Creatine?


How Men and Women Handle Ultra Distance Running

A group of male and female runners on a track

It's widely understood that men perform better than women when it comes to running. Where this is statistically true in distances between 100m and a marathon, it’s less clear at ultra distances. 

This study explored sex differences in ultramarathon performance by analyzing data from two races with roughly equal numbers of male and female participants. In the 50-mile race, both sexes had similar median finish times, but the top 10 males finished about 85 minutes faster than the top 10 females. In the 100-mile race, there was no significant difference in average finish times or among the top finishers between sexes. Overall, the performance gap between males and females narrows to 1-3% in ultramarathons, indicating that when participation rates are equal, women perform nearly as well as men in these extreme endurance events.

Our thoughts: This data suggests that women are indeed well-built for very long distances, to the point where there's little performance disparity between men and women


That’s all for this week. We hope you learned something new that you can incorporate into your training!


— Train hard!


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