Spirulina Nutrition: Athletes’ Best Kept Secret
Athletes usually keep very closely they nutritional secrets, but with Internet, reports start to show interesting insights in the every day nutrition secrets of major athletes, especially about spirulina for athletes and its powerful nutrients content.
The public has heard about Superfoods for a few years now and they have become incredibly popular among athletes. One of the main reasons is because the food available in supermarkets does not contain as much nutrients as it used to be due and athletes need to ingest food very dense in nutrients to perform at their maximum potential.
Superfoods provide “clean” energy, increase stamina and extend endurance. They also contain large doses of anti-oxydants, vitamins, minerals and other natural goodies like polyphenols in an “all natural” form, easily available for our bodies.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae (actually a cyanobacteria) used already by the Aztecs, declared “food of the Future by the UN Food and Agriculture. Organisation and used today by the NASA in their space program. According to a research done by the NASA in 2012 “one gram of algae has the nutritional equivalent of 1,000 grams of fruits and vegetables”. (Boston MZ [PRWEB], August 2012).
Spirulina for athletes.
Over a 1,000 of scientific papers have been published to date and results show that gram for gram spirulina, compare to other food is just an incredible supplement:
• Spirulina has 3900% more beta-carotene than carrots
• Spirulina has 2300% more iron than spinach
• Spirulina has 300% more calcium than whole milk
• Spirulina has 375% more protein than tofu and 200 % more than meat
• Three grams of Spirulina have more antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity than five servings of vegetable
• Comparing phytonutrient levels, Spirulina is 31 times more potent than blueberries, 60 times more potent than spinach and 700 times more potent than apples!
(all these numbers are coming from a spirulina nutrition study done in 2006 by Moorhead K, Capelli B, Cysewski Dr GR: Spirulina, Nature’s Superfood, Cyanotech Corporation 2006).
Spirulina for athletes in the Olympics!
According to Citybizlist.com (a US news and business website) Olympic athletes have for over four decades tap into spirulina nutrition for energy gain, endurance and vitality as nothing else matches spirulina incredible nutritional density. So yes, spirulina for athletes is a real advantage!
One of the first athletes to link success to the super algae is Lee Evans –the four-time American gold medalist and four-time world records holder in track and field. Evans said spirulina nutrition “improved my training, gave me speed and improved my endurance all of which resulted in my faster times.”
Another country using the power of spirulina nutrition is China. China even has a spirulina farm only for its Olympic athletes. Several large, elite groups (e.g., Carnegie Institute, World Bank, FAO) have endorsed and recommend Spirulina as the most nutritionally dense food in the world. Research have shown that spirulina is composed of 66% of protein (compared to only 22% in beef).
And, for the last 10 years, the Chinese Government has said its Olympic athletes take Spirulina. Other elite groups such as the World Bank, United Nations and Carnegie Institute have endorsed algae for decades as the most nutritionally dense food in the world. The report on Cityblitz.com states that Spirulina has over 60 percent protein compared to meat, which is only 22 percent protein.
Why spirulina for athletes?
“Turns out that algae… is also the most nutritionally dense, lowest calorie in the world. Algae has been shown to increase an athlete’s energy, endurance, speed and mental agility. It also helps prevent colds, stops hunger, reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and fatigue, improves digestion, helps with weight loss, removes toxins, balances blood sugar, builds the immune system and more.” Cityblitz.com reports. Spirulina is also very alkaline and help regulate our internal pH. This is why spirulina for athletes is so efficient!
During intensive training athletes can experience non-anemic iron deficit, with clinical symptoms such as exhaustion and muscle fatigue. Spirulina is very rich in bioavailable iron and this is why spirulina nutrition is important. A 1998 study with make and female athletes taking spirulina for two months presented a significant increase in iron. Taking a few grams of spirulina per day can decrease and eradicate iron deficit symptoms and increase optimal physical capacity (Trojacanec, Z. et al. Influence of extensive training on the number of erythrocytes and hemoglobin level and its correction. Inst. Med. Physiology, Skopje, Macedonia. Pub in XXIV FIMS World Congress of Sports Medicine, June 1998).
And a report on the effect of Spirulina supplementation on sportsmen by Milaðius et al. (2004) noted: “Studies have shown that Spirulina supplementation induced a significant increase in exercise performance and fat oxidation. After five days of Spirulina usage, sportsmen felt more bouncy, their sleeping quality improved, fatigue after physical load performance was less, recuperation processes became quicker, and their endurance when performing strength exercises improved.” Read this post to know more about spirulina for athletes.
But don’t forget that all spirulina are created equal, and if you too want to tap into the incredible power of spirulina nutrition make sure to only buy spirulina of the best quality available.