Manage Your Gut Flora for a Better Ride

LEG LUBE: What’s going on in your gut can mean the difference between a good day on the bike and a bad one. After all, your stomach is where you process all those nutrients that fuel your ride. When it’s out of whack, your riding will suffer. It all comes down to microbe management. Your digestive system is home to trillions of bacteria. Some are beneficial and keep you healthy; others are the kind that can make you sick. As long as there’s a balance between the good and bad, your system will function normally, says Shekhar Challa, MD, author of Probiotics for Dummies. But when that equilibrium is thrown off—thanks to anything from taking antibiotics (they kill all bacteria) to stress, age, even exercise—you start feeling lousy. You can restore a healthy balance using probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, which are found naturally in your body and in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. Here’s how probiotics can improve your health—and your ride.

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