Scientists Are Collecting Poop From Elite Athletes to Create a Performance-Enhancing Poop Pill

Becoming an elite athlete may soon be as simple as popping a pill.

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As a society, we’ve become obsessed with probiotics. And rightfully so: The complex community of microorganisms living in the digestive tract greatly influence our overall health, and probiotics are a proven shortcut to this valhalla of bacteria—colonizing our stomachs with only the good stuff.

But as it turns out, that’s just the bare minimum.

More potent stuff is on the way.

New research suggests that performance-enhancing probiotics can be made from microorganisms found in the guts of elite athletes. Swallowing their gut bacteria will make your choice of physical activity—whether that’s running a weekend 5k or hitting eighth for the company softball team—that much better.

In more medical terms, the research, presented by Harvard Medical School microbiologist Jonathan Scheiman, found that the bacteria in the guts of elite athletes—in this case, a collection of marathoners and ultramarathoners—help their bodies better process food for energy, reduce inflammation and eliminate chemicals that cause fatigue and soreness.

This isn’t mere theory, either.

By the end of the year, Scheiman and his team hope to develop performance-enhancing gut-bacteria pills that can make any couch potato’s stomach as strong as that of the winner of the Boston Marathon—no matter how much pizza and beer they devour on a weekly basis.

Now that’s some next-level… er, stuff.