What is spirulina?
Spirulina is a green seaweed that does not require any treatment to be consumed, which allows keeping all its nutritional properties.
This seaweed was already consumed by the Incas for all its benefits.
Spirulina is naturally found in lakes located between the tropics. These lakes are saturated in organic matter and rich in soda. In addition, these environments have a high temperature, which promotes its proliferation.
The demand for spirulina consumption exploded a few years ago, artificial pools were created to grow spirulina. We can find spirulina fields in Europe.
The demand for spirulina consumption exploded a few years ago, artificial pools were created to grow spirulina. We can find spirulina fields in France.
What is it made of?
Spirulina is composed mainly of proteins, but also of few carbohydrates. Moreover, it contains few lipids (fats), but among these we find mostly omega 6.
Spirulina also contains many vitamins such as vitamins A, B, D, E, K, as well as many minerals.
It contains calcium, iron, and magnesium.
The consumption of 10 grams of Spirulina covers the daily iron requirements of a person.
Where can we find it in our food?
Spirulina can be consumed as a dietary supplement in the form of tablets, capsules, powder or flakes, to be added to preparations.
We can also find it in more and more products such as pasta, but also, of course, in cereal bars like the Pulsaar superfood bar.
What are its effects on our body?
Spirulina supplementation allows, during an endurance effort, to increase lipid oxidation. The body, therefore, uses more lipids than usual and fewer carbohydrates to produce energy. This allows our body to save its glycogen (carbohydrate reserve), which will allow the athlete to make an intense effort for a longer period.
In addition, other studies have shown that consumption of spirulina influences our nervous system. Thus, during an intense endurance effort, spirulina has a protective effect on the transmission of fatigue signals in our nervous system, which would reduce the feeling of fatigue.
Spirulina thus contributes to an improvement in endurance but also to an increase in resistance. It, therefore, improves performance.
Spirulina is rich in antioxidant and so like all other foods of this type, it prevents oxidative stress.
The oxidative stress is an attack on our cells due to environmental issues and our lifestyle. It can be the cause of certain diseases or premature ageing.
It is therefore important to eat foods containing antioxidants in order to stay healthy.
Spirulina would also have a beneficial effect on our immune system.
As a matter of fact, some of its compounds have a positive impact on this function of our body. It would stimulate our immune system which would bring more appropriate responses to our body for certain diseases.
In addition, among athletes after a long and intense effort (marathon, trail running, triathlon …), the immune system weakens. So, it is easier to get sick.
A study has shown that the consumption of spirulina by athletes, allowed them to strengthen their immune system. It would limit infections due to a deficiency of one of the functions of the immune system.
Finally, spirulina would prevent a decline of the immune function because of a quantitatively important training.
- Ngo-Matip ME and al. (2015). Impact of daily supplementation of Spirulina platensis on the immune system of naïve HIV-1 patients in Cameroon: a 12-months single-blind, randomized, multicenter trial. Nutrition Journal.
- Zhu HZ. and al. (2018). [Protective effects of spirulina on hippocampal injury in exercise-fatigue mice and its mechanism]. Chinese Journal of applied physiology.
- Kalafati M. And al. (2010). Ergogenic and antioxidant effects of spirulina supplementation in humans. Medicine and science in sport and exercise.
- Artur Jusckiewiecz and al. (2018). An attempt to induce an immunomodulatory effect in rowers with spirulina extract. Journal international society of sports nutrition.