Can Bodybuilders Benefit From Spirulina?
pirulina is a super-food that is gaining attention as a dietary supplement for sports enthusiasts. When the question arises - “can bodybuilders benefit from the intake of Spirulina”? The answer is clearly a big “YES”. Read on to understand how. Spirulina is a super-food that has been used from the time of Aztecs. Its use as an immune system booster, enhancer of athletic performance, and a promoter of recovery from intense workouts, makes it an appealing option not only for bodybuilders but people in other intensive sports too.
Spirulina contains 65% protein, which is an essential nutrient for bodybuilders. It also has high levels of vitamin B-complex, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, along with the essential omega 3 fatty acid - linoleic acid. Calcium, potassium and magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc are also found in Spirulina. With most of these nutrients required by people in high-intensity sports and bodybuilding, Spirulina is gaining attention as a preferred dietary supplement. Research for Spirulina as a supplement for bodybuilders hasn’t been very extensive, but there have been some studies that can shed a little light. Here’s what we can conclude after reading through them.
- Rich in protein - Proteins are known as the building blocks of life and play a very significant role in the recovery after an intensive workout. Of the 9 essential amino acids required, Spirulina contains 8 that help in the full recovery after a bodybuilding session. A tablespoon (7 grams) of Spirulina contains about 4 grams of protein that is easily absorbed by the body, making it a preferred supplement by bodybuilders.
- Increases strength and endurance - Any sport requires stamina to remain active and more so in the case of a bodybuilder. Both strength and stamina must be at its peak for a person training to be a bodybuilder. This happens over time and with some help from our dietary supplements. In this case, research on the intake of Spirulina for bodybuilders has shown an increased endurance, resulting in delayed fatigue after a 2 hr run.1 While this is one of the few small pieces of research undertaken, it does bring in a new ray of information for making Spirulina as an endurance supplement.
- Reduces oxidation - Physical performance in terms of intensive exercises are known to cause oxidative stress, which results in many diseases. Many efforts have been carried out to identify micronutrients and natural compounds, known as Nutraceuticals, that can prevent the exercise-induced oxidative stress and inflammation.2Just like goji berries, Spirulina too can help in relieving the oxidative stress, thereby preventing more DNA damage.3
- Reduces blood pressure - Spirulina supplements benefit bodybuilders by regulating the blood pressure after workouts. Research has shown that people who were given Spirulina tablets for 6 weeks showed reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.4
- Prevents body aches and injuries- Spirulina contains an anti-inflammatory agent called phycocyanin, which helps in preventing sore muscles and internal injuries that may occur as a result of the high-intensity workout.
Spirulina for bodybuilders is not a well-researched subject, but the ones on "Spirulina for sports" is encouraging and supportive of the fact that Spirulina is beneficial for high-intensity workouts. One should always consult with a physician or personal trainer to kickstart your regimen with Spirulina as a dietary supplement.