Spirulina (Spirulina maxima) is a unicellular algae that have been used as a nutritional supplement throughout the history of man. The Aztecs, in Mexico, and African tribes that inhabited areas near Lake Chad already included this superfood in their diet. However, it was not until the sixties of the last century when its consumption began to spread throughout the world and to be grown in countries that lacked this plant.
But, why was this generalization in the consumption of this alga? Basically because of scientific studies that confirmed what those who took it for centuries already knew, that it is a dietary supplement really beneficial to health thanks to its high content of proteins and other nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, nucleic acids and essential fatty acids.
What does spirulina provide to athletes?
When we do sport we consume a large amount of energy and there is an important wear in our body. Therefore, it is important to take a diet that provides the proper nutrients to help your recovery.
Spirulina contains around 13% of carbohydrates which provide us with a high amount of energy, that is why it is highly recommended after a physical activity. Likewise, due to its high concentration of vegetable proteins it favors the development of tissues, helping to strengthen and develop muscle mass.
Rich in various minerals such as iron and magnesium, spirulina is also a powerful ally to prevent muscle and joint injuries. Iron, in addition, is vital to ensure the transport of oxygen through the blood, so it improves resistance and recovery.
Another component that we can find in this superfood is chlorophyll. According to the Swiss scientist Bircher-Benner in his studies on plant dyes, this vegetable pigment improves the functioning of the heart, vascular system, intestine, uterus and lungs.
Given its composition, spirulina also acts as a powerful antioxidant, favoring the regeneration of tissues damaged by physical activity and therefore improving sports performance.
Other applications of spirulina
Spirulina algae is not only indicated for athletes who want to improve their performance or develop their musculature but it has also been used in various health treatments:
- Alterations of sight, due to its high content of beta-carotene, a natural chemical compound that our body converts into Vitamin A when assimilating it.
- Anemia, thanks to its high percentage of iron. 10 grams of spirulina gives us 80% of the amount of iron that is recommended to take a day.
- Intestinal disorders, since it favors the digestive process and the absorption of nutrients.
- Anti-aging programs, since it has a high level of nutrients and has antioxidant properties.
- Weight loss programs, as it is low in calories and provides a large amount of energy thanks to its abundance in proteins and vitamins.
How to take spirulina?
We can take spirulina in tablets or in powder. The recommended daily dose is around 5 grams, 10 grams in case we use it to eliminate toxins.
Depending on the purpose for which we take spirulina, its intake is more appropriate at different times. In the event that we want to lose weight, it is best to take it half an hour before each meal as it has a satiating effect. If we want to detoxify the organism we should take it when fasting and accompany it with plenty of liquid. Finally, if you want to develop muscle it is better to take it after a meal. However, so that it is effective in this aspect, it is necessary to exercise the muscles by doing some physical activity.