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Think beyond yogurt with these three probiotic products, which all serve up a dose of beneficial bacteria to keep your body running on all cylinders.
Maintaining a healthy GI tract helps prevent not only a rumbly stomach and bathroom issues, but it also keeps the immune system strong (in fact, 70 percent of your immune system is in your GI tract!), which is especially key for endurance athletes.
Attune Brand Probiotic Chocolate Bar
Really? Probiotic chocolate? We were skeptical too, but the shelf-stable probiotics in this bar don’t alter its delicious taste. Available in a creamy milk chocolate crisp with crunchy puffed rice (the taste test winner), dark chocolate, and toasted coconut (made with dark chocolate), this bar delivers 4 billion CFU (colony forming units) of probiotics per 3-ounce bar. All three flavors are high in calcium and fiber, but it’s still chocolate, after all—the sugar and fat content mean it’s best to save for a treat (and perhaps not your daily source of probiotics). $4.99, Attunebrand.com
Get your daily vitamins plus probiotics in just a few fruity sips from these mini bottles (with a happy face-shaped opening, no less!). The shots have a juice-like texture and come in four delicious flavors (the mango was the test favorite) with a slight hint of the barley malt and oat ingredients. Each organic shot contains vitamins (A, B, C and E) and calcium, plus 20 billion CFU of probiotics. The dairy-free ingredients make it a probiotics option for lactose-intolerant athletes. $3.99 for four, Goodbelly.com
Sound Probiotics Sport Formula
This supplement is the first probiotic that utilizes strains of bacteria that have been shown to be beneficial for athletes specifically. Each serving contains 25 billion CFU of probiotics plus 150 milligrams of prebiotics, an indigestible food ingredient that helps stimulate probiotic numbers and function. The capsule itself features targeted release technology so that the probiotics are released in the gut and aren’t destroyed by stomach acid. Sound recommends taking your daily dose with a recovery drink after a workout, as probiotics have also been shown to aid amino acid uptake in the gut. $32 for 30-serving bottle, Soundprobiotics.com