Benefits of spirulina for athletes
Spirulina for athletes isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a game-changer.
Imagine a superfood that boosts your endurance, enhances your performance, and speeds up your recovery. That’s spirulina for you!
Spirulina powder, packed with essential nutrients, this blue-green algae is the secret weapon you need in your athletic arsenal. Ready to up your game? Let’s explore how spirulina can give you a competitive edge.
Spirulina for Athletes: Short Summary
- Endurance Boost: Spirulina’s nutrient-dense profile can help increase your stamina and endurance.
- Performance Enhancement: Spirulina can aid muscle growth and strength with its high protein content.
- Speedy Recovery: Spirulina’s anti-inflammatory properties can help speed up recovery post-workout.
- Nutrient Powerhouse: Spirulina is packed with essential nutrients that can contribute to overall health.
- Easy Incorporation: Learn to add spirulina to your diet for maximum benefits.
As someone who exercises regularly, you put your body to the test, which can quickly lead the body to a state of imbalance and fatigue, impacting your physical abilities and overall performance.
Spirulina is a natural component that prevents chemical imbalance and thus contributes to optimal endurance and muscle power performance.
Spirulina also participates in optimal recovery.
Thanks to highly assimilable/high bioavailability essential nutrients and their complementary harmonious action, it has these characteristics.
Maintain/develop muscle mass
Spirulina Powder contains about 65% of its weight in amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), against 20% on average for beef or 13% for eggs.
There are 22, of which 8 of those amino acids are said to be essential because the body cannot synthesize them by itself.
In addition to its high protein content, spirulina has a very high concentration of the following essential amino acids (50% of the total). Among these, noted particularly the presence of:
- Valine and leucine, which participate in the repair of muscle lesions,
- Isoleucine, which can synthesize other non-essential amino acids,
- Methionine, which has significant antioxidant capacity.
The first three amino acids also majorly affect muscle mass gain.
Moreover, contrary to hard-to-assimilate animal proteins (low bioavailability), spirulina proteins are highly digestible because the alga does not have a cell membrane.
The digestibility – of Net Protein Use (NPU) – of spirulina is estimated between 53 and 61%. This is to be compared with lentils (30%), beef (15%) and cow’s milk (12%).
This is, as mentioned, all thanks to the cell membrane made of protein and bot cellulose.
Optimize oxygenation of the muscles
Spirulina is particularly rich in iron and one of the few sources of phycocyanin.
Iron is an essential component of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen to cells and removes carbon dioxide.
Although anaemia is relatively rare in the sports population, iron deficiency is a much more chronic problem, especially among sportswomen. Thus, in endurance sports, up to 30% of athletes and 80% of those active have ferritin levels below normal (iron deficiency).
Most of these iron deficits have benign pathological consequences, but performance is reduced. It is, therefore, better to regularly supplement your meals.
Cellular respiration is further enhanced by the high content of phycocyanin, a blue pigment of spirulina with powerful antioxidant properties and whose chemical composition is very close to haemoglobin.
Improve energy metabolism, prevent cramps and ensure better recovery after exercise
Spirulina has a very high concentration of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Calcium and magnesium
Calcium and magnesium are involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in energy metabolism.
These minerals are also important in the mechanisms associated with nerve transmission, muscle contraction and recovery, cramp prevention, stress control, and protein synthesis.
The sports population tends to be sensitive to hypomagnesaemia (magnesium deficiency), especially long-distance athletes (ultra-trail, running, triathlon etc.) and those invested in weight-class sports.
As for calcium, sufficient contributions are recommended for athletes to optimize muscle metabolism and prevent muscle cramps.
Regarding phosphorus, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has recently confirmed that the metabolism of fats and sugars, as well as the formation of ATP (a molecule that provides the energy needed by cells), requires the presence of phosphorus.
Beyond the treatment of deficiencies, phosphorus is often proposed for improving sports performance since a majority of studies have shown that phosphorus intake improves sports performance, especially in endurance sports such as a marathon, triathlons or cycling. Some studies have shown that phosphorus intake for several days could prevent cramps and increase endurance.
Fight against oxidative stress and strengthen the body’s ability to recover after exercise
Oxidative stress can be defined as exposure of our body to the aggression of toxic molecules and free radicals. These come from the oxygen we breathe, a molecule essential to life but responsible in parallel to the destruction of our cells by denaturing our proteins, lipids, sugars and even DNA.
There is oxidative stress when our body does not have access to enough antioxidants or when the endogenous production of free radicals is too important (linked to too much oxygen consumption because of the efforts made).
Athletes can significantly boost their recovery and promote overall health and prevention by maintaining a healthy level of antioxidants through Spirulina supplements. This is particularly advantageous for those who are pushing their physical limits.
Promote the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins
Vitamins of group B play several roles in the body. They are particularly interesting for the athlete because they participate in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, thus providing cells with the necessary energy.
It has also been shown that vitamin B1 regulates the heart system and ensures its normal functioning. As for the muscular level, this vitamin possesses an analgesic and anti-inflammatory action relieving muscular pains.
Also, studies have confirmed that the vitamin B complex allows the assimilation of iron necessary for forming red blood cells and contributes to the maintenance and performance quality.