The billion year secret
A study out this month shows that nature may have been keeping secret the key to training harder and burning more fat for millions of years
A natural product that makes you train harder and burn more fat during your training sessions, sounds a bit too good to be true, but not according to the leading journal 'Medicine and Science in Sports Medicine', which this month published a study1 that showed some incredible results...
Moderately trained men took part in the double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Each subject received either the natural supplement spirulina or a placebo for 4 weeks. They were then asked to run on a treadmill at an intensity corresponding to 70%-75% of their VO2max for 2 hours and then at 95% VO2max until exhaustion. Exercise performance was measured and blood samples were drawn before, immediately after, and at 1, 24, and 48 hours after exercise.
The results showed a clear advantage in those taking spirulina. Time to fatigue after the 2 hour run was significantly longer after spirulina supplementation (2.05 minutes ± 0.68 minutes vs 2.70 minutes ± 0.79 minutes – around a 25% increase). Furthermore ingestion of spirulina significantly decreased carbohydrate oxidation rate by 10.3% and increased fat oxidation rate by 10.9% during the 2 hour run compared with the placebo trial.
Spirulina is a microscopic spiral shaped blue-green algae that has been on the planet for millions of years. As a superfood it is packed full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, natural proteins and amino acids and is one of the most nutritional foods on earth; making it popular in recent years with celebrities and nutritionists. The new study shows there might be even more to the algae though. Those who took spirulina in the study were less fatigued after exercise and were able to run at a high intensity for longer. For those looking to burn fat the results were also very significant showing that spirulina helped the body use more fat reserves when training.
The study used only relatively small amounts of spirulina of just 6g a day, making these very achievable results for everyone. The easiest way to take spirulina is in a powder or capsule format so that it is easily digested and can be purchased online or at natural food stores.
By Piers Cracknell
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