The Athlete Gut Microbiome and its Relevance to Health and Performance: A Review


November 2022


The human gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of microorganisms that play an important role in human health, influencing functions such as vitamin uptake, digestion and immunomodulation. While research of the gut microbiome has expanded considerably over the past decade, some areas such as the relationship between exercise and the microbiome remain relatively under investigated. Despite this, multiple studies have shown a potential bidirectional relationship between exercise and the gut microbiome, with some studies demonstrating the possibility of influencing this relationship. This, in turn, could provide a useful route to influence athletic performance via microbiome manipulation, a valuable prospect for many elite athletes and their teams. The evidence supporting the potential benefits of pursuing this route and associated future perspectives are discussed in this review. Sports Med (2022) 52(Suppl 1):119-128.