There is a ton of hype surrounding probiotics. I’ve read some pretty outlandish claims when it comes to probiotics and athletic performance, but in reality, there are some benefits to probiotics.

The first benefit to probiotics is it may reduce the number, severity, and duration of upper respiratory infections. The second benefit to probiotics is that it may improve gastrointestinal comfort. Lastly, probiotics may improve the immune system in general. This relates to athletic performance in an indirect way. While it doesn’t seem like probiotics directly improve athletic performance (at least not in a reliable, replicable way), if you are generally more healthy, and get sick less often, your training frequency can be higher, and that can allow great athletic performance in the long run.

My personal experience with probiotics is that I generally eat food rich in probiotics. I do this for general health purposes. However, I take a probiotic supplement when I’m taking an antibiotic. Anecdotally, I feel way better taking an antibiotic with a probiotic than taking an antibiotic alone (even with my already probiotic rich diet). I encourage mat athletes to stay clean and shower after practice, but eventually you’re going to get some type of skin infection. When this happens, and it’s necessary to take an oral antibiotic, try taking it with a powerful probiotic and see if it helps. In my experience, it’s helped relieve a lot of the gastrointestinal distress with an antibiotic.