spirulina prevents free radical damage, inflammation and skeletal muscle damage from exercise

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is exploding with nutrients and antioxidants. New research is suggesting that the tiny plant could provide a huge boost to your workout.

Exercise is great for your health, but it is hard on your body. When 17 elite Rugby Union players were given either spirulina or a placebo for 7 weeks, the benefits of spirulina became very clear.

The double-blind study found that immediately after exhaustive exercise, the players on placebo experienced significant increases in markers of free radical damage, inflammation and skeletal muscle damage. But only the players on placebo did: the ones taking spirulina were protected from the damage.

When the same measures were taken 24 hours later, they were significantly lower than they were before exercise, again suggesting benefit and a faster recovery of these markers.

This study suggests that supplementing spirulina can help people who exercise prevent the free radical damage, inflammation and skeletal muscle damage that comes from an intense workout.

This is not the first study to highlight spirulina’s value as a supplement to add to your workout. An earlier double-blind study also found that spirulina can reduce skeletal muscle damage and decrease free radical damage by acting as an antioxidant. That study also found that spirulina significantly increases the amount of time people could train on a treadmill before they became exhausted (Eur J Appl Physiol 2006;98:220-6).

Still another double-blind study found that spirulina could significantly improve time to fatigue in a 2 hour moderate intensity run. The spirulina also improved fat burning by 10.9%, and, as in the other studies, it improved exercise antioxidant status (Med Sci Sports Exerc 2010;42:142-51).

Taken together, these studies present a convincing case for spirulina as a work out supplement.

J Hum Nutr Diet. 2022 Apr 8. doi: 10.1111/jhn.13014

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