Performance from the Inside Out Part 6:

How do healthy gut and gut microbes help us meet physiological challenges in endurance sports?

By Lillian So Chan with Manny W Radomski, PhD



Exercise Benefits Gut Health

Intense training and competition impose extreme physical, physiological, and environmental stress on the endurance sports athletes.

Exercise-induced physical and physiological stressors elicit both muscle-based and systemic responses, disrupting whole body homeostasis and overwhelming normal functions of almost all organs and systems. These result in both acute and longer-term immune and stress responses as the body tries to regain homeostatic equilibrium.

Our body’s main adaptations to these stressors involve energy metabolism and harvest, hydration status and electrolyte balance, regulation of stress resistance and inflammatory responses, muscle damage and oxidative stress, control of metabolic rate, blood flow, oxygen uptake, and core temperature regulation.

Gut microbes play central roles in and contribute to the modulation of all of the above endurance adaptation processes.


References and Links

See the Full List of References for this Series

Table of Contents



About the Authors

Lillian So Chan is the founding editor of WellnessOptions, a print magazine and website, and author of the book WellnessOptions Guide to Health published by Penguin Books. With over thirty years of experience in journalism and editing, Lillian has established unique editorial directions for several award-winning publications. She has worked for Maclean’s, Canada's largest news magazine, and served as a Governor and Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Governors at the Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada.


Manny W Radomski, PhD
is the former Director General of the Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine (DCIEM) of Defence Canada. He was a professor in the Departments of Physiology and Community Health in the Faculty of Medicine, and in the Faculty of Physical and Health Education at the University of Toronto, Canada.

He served as Scientific Advisor to the Chief of Air Staff, Defence Canada; Board Director of the Canadian Defence Research and Development Executive Committee; member on the NATO Research and Technology Agency’s Human Factors and Medicine Panel.

He is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Undersea Biomedical Research Journal and serves as a referee for the Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine Journal.

He has published on diving and aerospace medicine, human performance and protection, stress endocrinology, sleep, tropical medicine, and circadian disorders. Manny is a co-editor of WellnessOptions magazine and journal.

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