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Exercise and Gut Bacteria

It is no secret that, especially as we get older, gut bacteria becomes more of a problem. Some people say you can “cure” this issue with vitamins, probiotics, drinking celery juice, having a shot of apple cider vinegar each day, and so on. However, the real key to alleviating symptoms from an unhealthy gut and reducing the amount of gut microbiota in our systems is exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine conducted a study, and here are the results:


“In our study, as published in the April 2019 issue of MSSE, we demonstrated that six weeks of moderate to vigorous endurance exercise training altered the gut microbiota of 32 previously sedentary lean and obese adults, irrespective of changes in dietary composition or antibiotic usage. These changes were dependent on obesity status and largely were reversed when the participants reverted to six weeks of sedentary behavior. Importantly, exercise resulted in an increase in potentially beneficial short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations and the genes responsible for their production. Exercise-induced changes in butyrate (a prevalent SCFA) and SCFA regulating genes correlated with exercise-induced changes in body composition.” (American College of Sport Medicine, Allen et. al.). 


If you are looking at this and scratching your head, that’s okay. Let me break it down for you. The results of the study showed that six weeks of intermediate to intense exercise decreased the nasty gut bacteria in 32 obese and non-active adults. Not only that, but exercise also resulted in the increase of a beneficial short chain fatty acid (SCFA) that aids in bodily changes associated with exercise. The main takeaway from this is that all it took was 6 weeks to make a healthy change in the participants’ lives.


Now, some of you may be asking yourself, “What exactly is gut microbiota?” Basically, gut microbiota is the bacteria and other organisms that reside in the stomach, the colon, the intestines, and everything else that is involved in the digestive tract. The prevalence and effects of these microbiota is dependent on age, exercise, diet, sleep, and certain medications.

Gut microbiota can cause issues like acid reflux, an interrupted digestive tract, stomach pains, and, in more serious cases, can lead to the onset of colitis (however, colitis is influenced by a thousand other things… this is just a very extreme symptom).


Last, but certainly not least, what can you do to ensure that the microbiota residing in your gut doesn’t impede your everyday life? Here are some general ways to fight against gut bacteria.



  • Exercise
  • Changing your diet
  • Visiting your doctor
  • Adjusting your vitamins

Obviously, no major changes should be made without consulting a doctor, a nutritionist, a trainer, etc. It is never too early, nor too late, to change up your lifestyle and to start feeling better and becoming the best version of yourself!

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