The end of the summer marks the end of an exciting sports season. The long-awaited European Football Championship and the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games finally happened and thrilled millions. What an exciting, inspiring summer it was witnessing great sport and human achievement and shedding and sharing a tear or two at a particularly inspiring performance. Now we slowly turn our thoughts to the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in February 2022 and, of course, to several national, international, and world competitions.
Viewing all this competition, the natural tendency for most of us is to see only one side of the medal. We see only the joy of golden victory. We’re often unaware of the sacrifice and difficulties that athletes endure, the other side of the medal. We don’t appreciate that in preparing for these competitions the athletes face extreme stress - apart from any psychological stress, great physical stress that most of us will never know. Up to 60% of athletes suffer from exercise-induced stress leading to gastrointestinal complaints, delayed recovery, poor performance, increased risk of respiratory infections and decreased quality of life. At the core of these symptoms are low-grade inflammation, imparted gut barrier leading to gut permeability and oxidative stress. These three factors appear to form a vicious circle in the human body during exercises since they are interlinked: imbalance in one of them leads to another.
How can we reduce or prevent these exercise-induced effects? Can probiotics help? The answer is yes. Studies have shown that athletes’ gut microbiota play a tremendous role. Hence we have created Ecologic® Performance: a multispecies, evidence-based and indication-specific probiotic formulation developed to reduce the adverse effects of exercise-induced stress on the body. The formulation consists of six probiotic strains selected for their anti-inflammatory and oxidative properties and their ability to improve the gut barrier function.
Ecologic® Performance has been tested in two clinical studies. The first was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial in which 23 endurance athletes received Ecologic® Performance or a placebo for 14 weeks. Ecologic® Performance significantly decreased stool zonulin levels, an essential marker for gut permeability. Moreover, a trend was shown towards a decrease in the chronic inflammatory and oxidation markers (Lamprecht et al., 2012). In a second randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial among 33 trained athletes, Ecologic® Performance significantly reduced the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (Strasser et al., 2016). Also, the athletes in the Ecologic® Performance group proved able to train 2.6 hours more per week than those in the control group. These results show that Ecologic® Performance can reduce the adverse effects of stress and offer a potential intervention strategy during heavy exercise training periods.
Who is Ecologic® Performance for? For everyone that engages in sports, even non-athletes, as it can greatly benefit health and reduce exercise-induced stress. Of course, it is also a healthy addition to athletes' routines. Instead of sitting in front of our screens cheering our athletes on and hoping their dreams come true, why not support them even further by boosting their health and reducing exercise-induced stress with the help of Ecologic® Performance?
We, at Winclove Probiotics, are proud that the Netherlands women's national handball team takes Ecologic® Performance daily. The team dieticians recommend Ecologic® Performance because the product is medically endorsed and has shown many positive clinical results. What’s more, the team’s medical doctors and the Dutch Olympic Association support the use of Ecologic® Performance. At Winclove Probiotics we are also proud to support Lara Baars, a Dutch Paralympic athlete competing in the shot put and discus throw events. Recently she too added Ecologic® Performance to her routine.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about Ecologic® Performance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to discuss the science and the market information behind Ecologic® Performance with you.
Lamprecht et al. Probiotic supplementation affects markers of intestinal barrier, oxidation, and inflammation in trained men; a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:45
Strasser et al., Probiotic Supplements Beneficially Affect Tryptophan–Kynurenine Metabolism and Reduce the Incidence of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Trained Athletes: A Randomized, Double Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2016