Probiotics: What are they? Do you need them?

May 21st, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Florastor Probiotics.

In the spirit of my chronic problem with oversharing it’s no secret that I’ve been plagued with tummy troubles since my early twenties. When I want to the ER with severe stomach cramping they ultimately had no idea what was going on and gave me a diagnosis of IBS. Thankfully, most of my severe symptoms were alleviated after making some changes to my diet (going light on dairy products mostly.)

In addition to keeping my diet as clean as possible I also take probiotics. I’ve tried out a few different brands over the years so when I got the opportunity to try Florastor, the world’s most widely used probotic supplement, I was interested to see how it would match up to other brands. Since I’ve been taking probiotics for a while I didn’t notice any huge improvement in my belly health, but I had zero negative issues from taking them (no reoccurrence of old symptoms) so that is a very positive sign!

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It’s amazing how many things can throw your body’s natural intestinal flora off balance; excessive exercise or stress, traveling, taking antibiotics, or even a change in diet. Florastor is unique because it is a yeast-based probiotic (most are bacteria based) which means it can withstand the harsh environment of the stomach, is not comprised by antibiotic use, and it’s cells are bigger so it can have a greater impact on gut protection.

Why take Florastor?

–          Probiotics support your body’s own natural intestinal flora

–          Probiotics help in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients

–          Florastor is gluten free and vegetarian (both of these can be hard to find in supplements!)

–          Florastor contains 250mg of the probiotic strain Saccharomyces boulardii lyo, a natural yeast found on the skin of tropical fruits, lychees and mangosteens

Probiotics are also great for endurance runners since they can support your immune system and intestinal system, both of which can be compromised with vigorous exercise. Did you know that 70% of your immunes system is located in your gut?! I’ve personally had digestive issues with endurance running and those issues have been made substantially better since taking probiotics and staying very, very hydrated before running.

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There has also been research tying happy guts to happy moods. Think of it in reverse – when you are super stressed out it can cause upset stomach. Why couldn’t an upset stomach have a negative impact on mood/mental health?

If it sounds like probiotics may be some ‘miracle supplement’ that can affect everything from immune system and digestive health to mood states it’s because it is! I’m so glad I decided to try probiotics out last year and will absolutely be supplementing my diet with them for the foreseeable future.

Do you take probiotics?
What do you think of the mind-gut connection?

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10 Responses

  • Florastor’s children’s powder got me through many rounds of antibiotics and stomach bugs with the kids when they were babies. The powder would dissolve in anything. I am on and off with probiotics, never consistent. The huge selection can be overwhelming and too expensive to experiment with. When it’s in the budget though I’ll have Kombucha mid afternoon.

    • Erica House says:

      I actually got really into Kombucha for a while but had a negative reaction to it. I think the bacteria in the Kombucha threw off the natural levels of yeast in my body and I started getting all sorts of not fun side effects. Once I cut out the Kombucha I was fine. I am so amazed I didn’t realize there was a connection between probiotics and antibiotics before! #DUH

  • Tina Muir says:

    Agh I need this! I was having so many problems in my workouts from stomach upsets….I think this would help so much! I need to get my hands on some of this asap! Thanks for the post Erica!

    • Erica House says:

      When I trained for marathon #1 I had all sorts of digestive issues that fell under the blanket of ‘ischemic colitis.’ Not fun!

  • I started taking a probiotic recently and I just feel SO much better. I can’t tell whether it’s because of my shift in diet, or my added probiotic. But, whatever it is, it’s working. AND I LOVE IT! :)

    • Erica House says:

      I also noticed a HUGE improvement in mood and physically feeling better when I first started taking them two years ago!

  • Jaclyn @ Bumpsweat says:

    I too have to deal with IBS. I don’t currently take a probiotic supplement but do drink lots of kombucha. That seems to help for now.

    • Erica House says:

      I wish my body didn’t respond so negatively to kombucha! I LOVE the taste of it and how it made me feel immediately after.

  • I need to start working working on my supplement routine. Thanks for the reminder girl

  • Probiotics are fantastic for a healthy gut! I don’t take them every day but I do incorporate them often.