It sounds gross, but a recovery-boosting probiotic supplement is in the works.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School believe that the digestive tracts of elite athletes can hold the key to boosting athletic performance, according to their presentation at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
They collected daily fecal samples from 20 athletes who were training for the Boston Marathon, both a week before the race and a week after.
Then, they analyzed the samples to see which microbes populated them. They discovered a spike in the amounts of one particular strain of bacteria after the runners completed the marathon.
The purpose of that bug is to break down lactic acid, which can cause muscle fatigue and soreness during exercise.
Since your body naturally produces more lactic acid than usual during intense exercise, it’s possible that the strain of bacteria can help thwart those effects, researcher Jonathan Scheiman, Ph.D., said in a statement.
Now, the researchers are performing experiments on that specific kind of bacteria.
They’ve already discovered that it breaks down lactic acid in a test tube, and when fed to mice, it can pass through their digestive system and remain potent.
Their ultimate goal is to harness their findings in probiotic supplement, which they believe may be able to help boost recovery from a tough workout.
They’re planning to launch a company this fall called Fitbiomics, and hope that within a year afterward, they could have a probiotic on the market.
In the meantime, before these poop-based probiotics hit primetime, try these three ways to speed up your recovery after a hard workout.