Sunday, August 30, 2020

Fitness Diary :: Probiotics Benefits for Athletes - DUOLAC for Gut Health

I learnt a health tip from the boy some time back when I just started training more seriously...

If you frequently experience digestive problems or sub-optimal recovery, there's one simple thing you can do to resolve them better: consume more probiotics! 

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in your gut and in fermented, raw and living foods. They're very important for health and wellness, but their benefits are especially important for athletes

For everyone from young to old, healthy bacteria are crucial to optimal gut health, which is extremely important for overall wellness. It's the gateway through which nutrients affect the body.

We need a healthy gut for a healthy digestive system where food is broken down completely, absorbed efficiently or eliminated properly.  This leads to many benefits such as boosting of your immune system, healthier skin complexion, regular bowel moments etc.

If we don't digest our food properly, harmful substances may invade our blood stream and cause inflammation, lower immunity and hurt our overall health. 

Especially during this Covid-19 period where we may not be as active as before, or succumbing to unhealthy sugar treats to deal with the stress more often than we like, probiotics is important to support a healthy digestive tract and immune system to keep us safe and stronger to fight against the disease. 

For both competitive or recreational athletes like hubby and I, what we do outside the gym is just as important as what we do inside it. A good training program doesn't just focus on the "training" aspect, but also on recovery and diet to really reap the rewards from training and perform to our best ability.
Probiotics have the added benefits of improving recovery by firstly increasing antioxidant absorption. In the process of exercising, our body generates more free radicals from our increased metabolism which can impede muscle growth and development. We need high amounts of antioxidants in recovery and throughout the day to fight the free radicals and prevent them from causing damage. 

Secondly, interferons are powerful proteins that are the body's own frontline defenders against viral invasion. Probiotics can support immune function in athletes by promoting higher levels of interferons, a natural virus fighter, which is decreased in fatigued athletes. When you have a low level of interferons, it's easier to fall sick. Some studies have shown an increase in interferons in fatigued athletes with the supplementation of healthy bacteria has led to a decrease in illnesses. 

Thirdly, we need to be able to eat well to train well. But no matter how healthy or nutritious the food is, if the nutrients cannot be properly absorbed by the body, it is useless. Eating right is only half the battle. What we absorb from digestion is essential so, probiotics is important to us as it improves digestion by increasing the bioavailability and absorption of proteins and fats to give us the energy and nutrients we need to reach our fitness goals. It also helps with intestinal inflammation bloating and nausea, which are common complaints among athletes during and after training.

I make an effort to get more probiotics in our family's meals by including natural, fermented food like Greek yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkrauts or kimchi {try out my Buta Kimchi recipe!} almost daily. 

However, the dose of probiotics needed daily is not easily obtainable through just diet {you'd need to eat between 2-25 servings of probiotic-rich food products daily!} so we need to supplement with probiotic pills to get the core benefits. 

There are many probiotic pills in the market but I think one that you can trust, and which we are currently taking now, is DUOLAC from Korea

Made 100% in Korea, what makes DUOLAC unique is its technology that's patented around the world in countries like USA, Korea, Japan, China etc.  The dual coating ensures 100x higher survival rate of lactic acid bacteria in the intestine compared to uncoated probiotics that are easily killed by gastric acid and bile salt upon consumption. 

This coating also enhances the stability of lactic acid bacteria during processing, storage and distribution of the products. 

Note: All of their probiotics in Singapore are  halal-certified, gluten-free, and do not need to be refrigerated (*^▽^*) Each package is 1 month's supply.

The DUOLAC range includes 7 types, including specific ones for travel and children, and I'd highlight a few below. Depending on the product, they come in a variety of probiotic strains but all contain at least 4 strains that work synergistically for their health effects.  

I've read that multi-strain formulas are more effective than single strains but do note that currently, there is no consensus on what strain or dose is the best ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

DUOLAC Care is the signature product for adults to maintain balanced intestinal microflora for a healthy gut. In capsule form, it contains 6 probiotic strains with a dash of Vitamin C. The pills are very slim and easy to swallow. We like that they come individually packed in light packets which makes them easy to bring out for travel. 

DUOLAC Family is suitable for both kids {2 years old and above} and adults. It also has 6 probiotic strains, and it is fortified with prebiotic, which are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms. You don't need to take prebiotics for probiotics to work, but taking them together might make your probiotics more effective. 

DUOLAC Family comes in a bottle of vanilla-flavoured chewables. For those that have trouble swallowing pills, this might be a better option for you. Personally, I prefer to swallow pills compared to eating chewables, so I'd still swallow these together with the rest of my daily supplements at night haha.  

DUOLAC Yam Yam Plus (Kids) is the one that Lil Pumpkin is eating now. Good for kids aged 2 and above, this chewable bear-shaped tablet comes in a yummy yoghurt flavour that kids enjoy. It promotes gut health, bone health and immune support for kids. This supplement contains 5 probiotic strains as well as calcium, zone and Vitamin D for healthy growth and development, while maintaining a healthy immune system. Lil Pumpkin takes one in the morning before school, and one at night before she sleeps.

Babies are not left out as there's DUOLAC Baby. These are special powdered probiotics that easily dissolve in water or milk to help keep your babies' intestinal health balanced. Recommended for babies aged 3 months to 2 years, they contain 5 strains, prebiotics, Vitamin A and Vitamin D. 

Since including more probiotics in my diet years ago, I think that my bowel movements are more regular and I feel less bloaty. Even on days that I feel extra bloated, like after a heavy buffet meal haha, if I take probiotics immediately after, the feeling goes away pretty fast. 

If you'd like to try out DUOLAC probiotics, the entire range is available on which currently have some bundle deals. Limited product range is available at Guardian pharmacies and Watson's stores.  

* Disclosure: DUOLAC probiotics was provided by DUOLAC Singapore for review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own. The content is not presented by a qualified healthcare professional and is for informational purpose only. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please seek medical advice first before trying.


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