CAROCAP cyclists, sponsored by Bimuno, successfully ride the length of Africa in just 38 days
The CAROCAP team has achieved the fastest ever human powered journey along the length of the African Continent. Starting in Cairo on October 9th and finishing in Cape Town on November 15th, the team successfully completed the distance of over 10,300 km (6,400 miles) in just 38 days - beating the previous record by four days.
The ride has been both mentally and physically exhausting, resulting in the departure of one of the most experienced riders. Kenyan national captain, and one time coach to Chris Froome, David Kinjah, left the team just ten days shy of the finish line. The team crossing the finish line was comprised of Nicholas Bourne (who has previously run the same route), Mark Blewett (former South African professional cyclist), and David Martin (national road and time trial champion of Zimbabwe).
Emotions were high in Cape Town on Sunday afternoon. Mark Blewett’s son joined the team for their last 15kms, making for a touching finale. It is not often that sporting attempts require such a physical and emotionally demanding endeavor; the team therefore had chosen to partner with Bimuno for the provision of advanced nutritional support.
Why is gut health important for sports?
Many athletes, including top cyclists, runners, swimmers and body builders pay careful attention to the health of their digestive tract since it plays an essential role in achieving optimal physical and muscular performance, regulation of immune function and the ability to adapt to physical stress.
While the role that the gut plays in the digestive process and the absorption of nutrients is well understood, few people realise it is also the true centre of health and wellness. Over 2000 years ago the Greek physician Hippocrates rightly claimed that “All diseases begin in the gut”.
Trillions of individual bacteria live in the gut and it is these that are now being revealed as the secret health players, performing and regulating a range of essential bodily functions.
While health problems that stem from the gut can affect everybody at some point, athletes and other sports people can be particularly susceptible due to the intense physical and mental stress they put themselves under.
Nicholas Bourne, one of the cyclists partaking, states, “Bimuno has been part of each athletes build up to improving nutrient absorption in the gut to aid recovery. Secondly, we used it to maintain gut health especially when athletes encounter any bad or foreign bacteria”.
The most common gut related problems that sportsmen and sportswomen face include;
- Exercise induced gut issues
Gastrointestinal problems are particularly prevalent among endurance athletes, with as many as 20-50% experiencing some degree of GI distress. Scientific studies have demonstrated Bimuno’s ability to reduce abdominal discomfort and bloating in individuals experiencing these problems (1, 2).
- Supporting the immune system
Vigorous physical exercise is known to supress the immune system which can lead to frequent colds and a reduced ability to train. Bimuno has the ability to not only stimulate and increase the bacteria that regulate the immune system but also boost a range of immune measures (3, 4).
- Support while travelling
Athletes frequently have to travel overseas to compete in international events and while doing so they are at risk of gut infections including Travellers’ diarrhoea resulting from the local food, drink and environment.
Bimuno has a track record of usage among athletes travelling to events both at home and abroad and has been shown in published studies to help reduce the risk of Travel diarrhoea (5).
- Stress during competition
Athletes can suffer from stress and anxiety particularly during competitions. This stress not only directly hinders performance but can also lead to ‘tummy problems’. The link between the brain and the gut is now well established. Recently published ground breaking scientific research has shown that Bimuno is able to reduce the stress hormone cortisol (6).
For more information about the CAROCAP Team Time Trial Cycling Project visit www.carocaprace.com
- Bimuno is the result of intensive research & development dating back to 2000 and conducted in collaboration with the University of Reading’s Food Microbial Sciences Unit and other globally recognised research institutes.
- Bimuno products (powder and pastilles) have been chemically tested and certified as being drug-free by the laboratory of the government chemists (LGC/HFL). Bimuno has been used by a wide range of athletes and sports professionals for a number of years ranging from cyclists to boxers.
References for Bimuno’s scientific studies:
(1) Silk et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 29, 508-518
(2) Currently unpublished study of 400 individuals
(3) Vulevic et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008;88:1438-46
(4) Paper No. BJN-2014-021296RR: Influence of galactooligosaccharide mixture (B-GOS) on gut microbiota, immune parameters and metabonomics in elderly persons
(5) Drakoularakou et al. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010;64:146-152
(6) Schimdt et al. Psychopharmacology December 2014
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