When it comes to fitness, research suggests a healthy microbiome can improve athletic performance.
One study published in the journal Nature Medicine found a consistent bacterial strain (Veillonella atypica) in marathon runners. When that bacteria was transferred to mice, they saw an improvement in running speed. “What’s cool is that this particular bacteria has the ability to break down lactic acid, which is the acid that builds up in muscles during endurance exercise,” Bulsiewicz explains.
Because of the gut-brain axis, dysbiosis in the gut microbiome can also lead to brain fog and decreased energy levels—both of which can decrease exercise motivation and endurance. Unfortunately, the less frequently you work out, the less healthy your gut will become, which is why it’s important to prioritize even small daily movements, like walking.