Optimise your Athletic Performance with Whole Grains

Posted December 2020
Avocado, kimchi, cucumber & sesame tofu on Corn Thins slices

When it comes to athletic performance every small factor makes a difference. One of the factors you may not have considered are whole grains. Whole grains are a source of food for the good bacteria in your gut or probiotics. Optimal gut health is linked to reduced inflammation, better ability to metabolise foods into fuel and overall improved general health.

On top of this good gut health is linked to improved immune function. Athletes, which put their body’s under great stress can be at greater risk of upper respiratory infections. By including adequate amount of probiotic and prebiotic foods in your diet your risk of these infections is reduced. Less sick days means less days away from training, better performance during training, greater improvement in skills and fitness and overall improvement in results consequently.

Having more probiotics or good bacteria in your gut through foods such as yoghurt have been linked in research to greater VO2 max or the maximum amount of oxygen able to be taken up and used by the body in female swimmers. These probiotics need to be fed adequately by prebiotic sources such as wholegrains.

When you exercise your body is put under stress and part of this stress is from oxidative stress and gut permeability is increased. When you include whole grains in your post recovery meal or snack your body’s ability to remove and recover from this stress is improved. Whole grains are also linked to improvements in sleep which is a key factor for athletes to be able to recover from training sessions to allow improvements in performance.

Take home message: Every small factor can affect your performance. Include whole grains to optimise your overall health and factors around exercise to achieve the best results possible.

  • Article By:
    • Ashleigh Felth…