Do Probiotic Supplements Help Men Build More Muscle Mass Faster?

As more men make improving fitness and gaining lean muscle mass a health priority, some have turned to probiotic supplements to potentially enhance results from strength training workouts. Early evidence suggests that balancing digestive flora may reduce damage from intense exercise while lowering inflammation linked to protein breakdown.

This raises an intriguing question – can probiotics allow men to build sturdier, larger muscles faster? We analyze the developing science behind probiotics for fitness.

Understanding the Gut-Muscle Axis

Emerging research shows the collection of microbiome bacteria in intestines, known as gut flora, facilitates optimal nutrient absorption from foods that can be directed to muscle growth when paired with strength training. Gastroenterologists theorize that when gut balance is disrupted – such as from stress, medications, or diets high in processed foods – less muscle-building macro and micronutrients get absorbed.

Conversely, populating intestines with good bacteria via probiotics helps restore digestion. More workout-fueled foods properly break down into amino acids and proteins that muscles need to repair and expand bigger after training exertion.

“Optimizing gut health lays a foundation for building muscle metabolism via the gut-muscle axis,” explains nutritionist Dr. Robert Brown. “Probiotics are essentially flora fertilizers – they nourish microbes that nourish our fitness development.”

Lowering Post-Workout Inflammation

Intense resistance training inevitably damages muscle tissues – that’s how they grow back stronger. But excessive oxidative and inflammatory stress from workouts can hamper results. Some promising studies using probiotic strains like Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium breve, and S. thermophilus indicate they can modulate markers of muscle damage like creatine kinase while lowering inflammatory cytokines.

Researchers believe nurturing good intestine bugs generates bioactive peptides and antioxidants that dampen unwanted immune overreactions from intense training when circulating systemically. Early evidence suggests targeted probiotic choices allow men to workout harder, more frequently, without overtaxing the body.

What The Initial Clinical Studies Display

While more rigorous, long-term human trials are still needed, some initial small fitness-centered experiments with probiotic supplementation display encouraging muscle building indicators:

➡ A 6-week trial had experienced weightlifters take Lactobacillus probiotics. Participants saw increased gains in muscle mass and strength without changes in physical activity or diet compared to non-probiotic users.

➡ In an 8-week resistance training study, subjects consuming recommended protein paired with multi-strain probiotics gained more upper and lower body muscle mass than the control group eating the same protein protocol without probiotic supplementation.

➡ A 12-week clinical trial examined bodybuilders taking whey protein with either a probiotic capsule delivering 10 billion CFUs or placebo daily. The probiotic cohort displayed substantially increased lean muscle hypertrophy rates and higher insulin-like growth factor-1 despite equal workouts and macronutrition compared to the control group.

These early studies provide tentative evidence that probiotic usage could provide an edge. But nutrition experts like Dr. Jenny Rogers caution definitive links between specific strains and dosing protocols still require substantiation through more robust clinical validation. She advises men start slowly with general daily probiotic supplements from reputable brands that suit individual needs to assess impacts.


Initial probiotics studies focused on fitness outcomes provide provisional hope that optimizing digestive flora balance could amplify muscle development from proper resistance training and nutrition. Larger scale trials are still needed to better understand ideal probiotic supplemental approaches. But the gut-muscle axis shows intriguing promise as the microbiome intersects with sports nutrition and training science.