Probiotics can be incredibly beneficial for cyclists, says Dr. Ralf Jäger, who has been studying them as an inexpensive way to improve health. Probiotics, or live microorganisms that can be found in fermented foods or in pill form, help create a system of happy bacteria throughout your gut.
Yogurt or fermented foods, like sauerkraut or kimchi, are good natural sources for your probiotic fix. An easier and increasingly popular option, though, is to take probiotic pills. While pills used to be found only in super-specific health food stores, almost every major grocery store has at least a few options today. Your best bet is to opt for a probiotic sold in the refrigerated section; Whole Foods, for example, has a whole section of refrigerated space dedicated to probiotics. The refrigerated version—which tends to be slightly pricier—might be a better choice because probiotics are living organisms, and refrigerating them helps ensure potency. Some of the billions of strains of live bacteria and yeasts in an unrefrigerated pill might die during the hot transit to the grocery store, or just from sitting in a less-than-ideal temperature. Find a live strain, though, and in you’re in for a boatload of health benefits.