Prebiotic fiber may help relieve athletes’ sudden bathroom urges

athlete study
Fitness enthusiasts and competitive athletes often have an embarrassing problem: sudden bouts of diarrhea. In fact, scientists estimate that 30 to 60 percent of athletes experience sudden bouts of diarrhea during training and competition. “Instead of sizing up the competition or envisioning my route to victory, I often spent my time on the starting line thinking about where and when I’d have to make a bathroom pit-stop,” recalls two-time Olympian Laura Bennett.  

Now a study published by the Journal of Functional Foods, reports that the same fiber found in Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber may help eliminate athlete’s diarrhea by boosting levels of healthy probiotics in the gut. This may let you focus more on your performance and less on your digestive tract. 

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of 47 healthy male athletes (mainly soccer players) found that consuming 6 grams of PHGG (Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber) daily over a four-week period resulted in them having fewer negative GI symptoms. The study was published in the Journal of Functional Foods. 

The researchers also noted that PHGG lowers abundance of harmful bacteria and increases energy recovery from gut contents in athletes. They further noted that the presence of Bifidobacterium, a probiotic known to flourish when fed by PHGG, was associated with these benefits.

While more research is needed in this area, Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber is already known to provide relief from occasional diarrhea as well occasional constipation. It may be a welcome dietary addition for any endurance athlete who wants to focus on something besides the location of the nearest bathroom. 

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