Many endurance athletes experience an increase in upper respiratory infections, with symptoms such as difficulty breathing and ear pain. These problems account for many missed training opportunities, and for some athletes may pose a “limiting factor” to the level they attain in their sport. A study was performed last year to evaluate the effect of probiotic yogurt on endurance swimmers performing 400 meter freestyle (crawl) swims. The researchers found that 8 weeks of daily probiotic yogurt intake reduced the number of upper respiratory infections, also reducing their duration as well as ear pain and difficulty breathing. The probiotic yogurt also improved the athletes VO2 max, which is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen the body can absorb and utilize in a unit of time. VO2 max is considered the ultimate limiting factor to aerobic performance, so improvement in this equates to better fitness! It is amazing how scientific research is proving how necessary symbiotic organisms truly are. So, make sure you get your yogurt-and make sure it’s “real yogurt” with active cultures!