Since 2021, the ‘sports nutrition category’ has evolved to embrace all consumers looking for a healthy nutrition and lifestyle, without necessarily being focused on just sports performance. These shifts in the consumer mindset and behaviour will remain after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Functional ingredients with multiple health benefits, with attention to ‘natural’ and ‘free-from’ claims
According to a recent FMCG Gurus survey, as the situation returns to near-normality, people continue to dedicate more time to outdoor activities, and focus more on their physical and mental health and well-being, way above pre-pandemic levels.
In this context, alongside the growing demand for functional ingredients that can target health issues, there is an increased interest for natural ingredients, with ‘free-from claim’ and ‘natural formulation’ becoming ever more popular among consumers. Moreover, ‘sports nutrition’ products are incorporated into daily routines not just to promote muscle recovery, reduce post-workout soreness and inflammation, and target weight management, but also to maximize well-being with ingredients that support the immune system, and target gut health and low-grade systemic inflammation.
Probiotics as hero ingredient for an active lifestyle
The gut microbiota plays a key role in human health. Sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, as well as psychophysical distress are all associated with intestinal dysbiosis. Given the ability of gut microbiota to modulate pathophysiological processes, intestinal dysbiosis has been found to be able to trigger different health conditions. For this reason, probiotics, as modulators of gut microbiota, are a key ingredient to be incorporated in a healthy and active lifestyle to boost the immune system, target gut health and intestinal barrier function, and address obesity and metabolic disease, mental well-being, and antioxidative status, and, last but not least, improve physical performance and post-workout recovery.[3-5]
Probiotical has developed different probiotic solutions, available as ingredient or finished products, to be incorporated in a healthy, active lifestyle. Key features are the two proprietary technologies Microbac®, a patented microencapsulation technology that improves gastroresistance and stability of the strains, and Allergen-free®, which ensures blends and finished products are free from any allergen of the European Regulation.
Targeting weight management and insulin-resistance
Based on two Bifidobacterium strains, Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and Bifidobacterium breve B632, BIFISLIM® Junior has been specifically formulated to address pathogenic overgrowth and reverse dysbiosis, as well as enhance epithelial barrier integrity and modulate the immune system.
In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, among 101 young subjects enrolled with obesity and insulin-resistance, supplementation with BIFISLIM® Junior for eight weeks showed a significant improvement of insulin sensitivity at fasting and during OGTT with respect to placebo, leading to a greater metabolic improvement than that achieved with weight loss alone. The metabolic effects of BIFISLIM® Junior occurred both at hepatic and systemic (hepatic + skeletal muscle) level, as demonstrated by the average increase in both QUICKI and ISI Matsuda, and they were maintained even after treatment was stopped.
Improving mental well-being and sleep quality
Sleep disturbances such as sleep loss and insomnia are quite common in today’s fast-paced lifestyle, which may also contribute to low levels of physical activity.
Probiotical’s star formula targeting gut-brain axis, Bifizen®, is backed by several in vitro and in vivo studies, to address different aspects of mental well-being.
The administration of BIFIZEN®, a 4 strains probiotic mixture containing L. fermentum LF16, L. plantarum LP01, L. rhamnosus LR06, and B. longum 04, once a day for six weeks, has been associated with improvement and persistence over time in different aspects of the mood state, including sadness, anger, and fatigue, accompanied by improvement in the sleep quality and changes in the gut microbiota composition.[8,9]
Addressing gut membrane integrity
Abdominal cramping and pain, heartburn, vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as increased intestinal permeability are some of the most common symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal tract as a result of stress placed by prolonged exercise.
Bificol® is a probiotic blend featuring Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and Lactobacillus plantarum LP01, with proven clinical efficacy, specifically designed to alleviate symptoms of IBS by targeting inflammation, improving membrane integrity and counteracting main pathogens.[11-14]
Supporting healthy inflammation and enhancing athletes’ performance
The combination of Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and S. thermophilus FP4 is specifically designed and clinically tested to improve the overall immune response of athletes and alleviate the lowering of the immune defenses, and limit the inflammatory response linked to training and enhance performance throughout training and competition. [15-17]
In a clinical study on resistance-trained men, three weeks of supplementation with Bifisport® improved sports performance and reduced muscle tension in the days following exercise in comparison to a control group.
Attending Vitafoods Europe 2022?
Make sure to visit Probiotical Srl (Official Probiotics Category Sponsor) at Stand F110 or arrange a meeting with them through the virtual event platform.
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- FMCG Gurus: Active Nutrition vs Sports Nutrition in 2022
- Redondo-Useros N, et al. Microbiota and Lifestyle: A Special Focus on Diet. Nutrients. 2020 Jun 15;12(6):1776
- Aureli P. et al Probiotics and health: an evidence-based review. Pharmacol Res. 2011 May;63(5):366-76
- Ünsal C, et al. The effects of exhaustive swimming and probiotic administration in trained rats: Oxidative balance of selected organs, colon morphology, and contractility. Physiol Int. 2018 Dec 1;105(4):309-324
- Divella R, et al. Diet, Probiotics and Physical Activity: The Right Allies for a Healthy Microbiota. Anticancer Res. 2021 Jun;41(6):2759-2772
- Solito A, et al Supplementation with Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and B632 strains improved insulin sensitivity in children and adolescents with obesity in a cross-over, randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Clin Nutr. 2021 Jul;40(7):4585-4594
- Kline CE. The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2014 Nov-Dec;8(6):375-379
- Marotta A, et al. Effects of Probiotics on Cognitive Reactivity, Mood, and Sleep Quality. Front Psychiatry. 2019 Mar 27;10:164
- Calgaro M, et al. Metabarcoding analysis of gut microbiota of healthy individuals reveals impact of probiotic and maltodextrin consumption. Benef Microbes. 2021 Apr 12;12(2):121-136
- De Oliveira EP, et al. Gastrointestinal complaints during exercise: prevalence, etiology, and nutritional recommendations. Sports Med. 2014;44(Suppl 1):S79–85.
- Klemenak M, et al. Administration of Bifidobacterium breve decreases the production of TNF-alpha in children with celiac disease. Dig Dis Sci. 2015;60:3386–92.
- Nicola S, et al. Interaction between probiotics and human immune cells. The prospective anti-inflammatory activity of Bifidobacterium breve BR03. Agro Food Ind Hi-Tech. 2010;21:9–13.
- Saggioro A. Probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2004;38:S104–6.
- Jäger R, et al. Probiotic Streptococcus thermophilus FP4 and Bifidobacterium breve BR03 supplementation attenuates performance and range-of-motion decrements following muscle damaging exercise. Nutrients. 2016; 8, 642.
- Mogna L. et al., Assessment of the in vitro inhibitory activity of specific probiotic bacteria against different Escherichia coli strains. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Oct;46 Suppl:S29-32.
- Pane M, Amoruso A, Deidda F, Graziano T, Allesina S, Mogna L. Gut Microbiota, Probiotics, and Sport: From Clinical Evidence to Agonistic Performance. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 Nov/Dec; 52 Suppl 1.
- Jäger R, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Probiotics. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2019 Dec 21;16(1):62.