What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a green seaweed that does not need to be processed before eating, so all its nutritional value is preserved.
These seaweeds have been eaten by the Incas for all their good qualities.
Spirulina grows naturally in tropical lakes, which are saturated with organic matter and rich in sodium bicarbonate, and the high temperatures of such environments are conducive to cell proliferation.
A few years ago, spirulina began a real boom, with demand growing so high that artificial fields were created to grow it. There are also fields of spirulina in Europe.
What does Spirulina contain?
Spirulina is mainly protein, but also contains carbohydrates and some lipids (fats), mainly in the form of omega-6 fatty acids.
Spirulina is also rich in vitamins A, B, D, E and K and many minerals.
It also contains calcium, iron and magnesium.
10g of spirulina meets a person's daily iron requirements.
Which foods can spirulina be found in?
Spirulina can be taken as a food supplement in tablet, capsule, powder or flake form and added to other foods.
Spirulina is being added to more and more products such as pasta and, of course, cereal bars, for example, Pulsaar SUPERFOOD extra-nutritious bars.
How does it affect the body?
Achievements in sport
Spirulina supplementation allows enhanced lipid oxidation during endurance sports. This means that the body uses more lipids and less carbohydrates than normal for energy production. This allows the body to conserve glycogen (carbohydrate reserves), so the athlete is able to withstand intense exercise for longer.
Some studies have shown that taking spirulina affects the nervous system, which means that during prolonged strenuous exercise, spirulina protects against the transmission of signals of weakness in the nervous system, thus reducing feelings of fatigue.
Thus, spirulina helps to increase endurance and resistance, which in turn improves overall performance.
Spirulina is high in antioxidants, so like other products of its kind, it reduces oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress due to environmental factors and lifestyle threatens cells and can lead to some diseases or premature ageing.
It is therefore important to eat antioxidant-rich foods to stay healthy.
Spirulina can have a beneficial effect on the immune system.
In fact, this bodily function is favoured by some of the active substances in spirulina. When the immune system is stimulated in this way, the body can better respond to certain diseases.
In addition, athletes have a weakened immune system after prolonged intense exercise (marathon, obstacle race, triathlon, etc.), i.e. they get sick more easily.
A study has observed that in athletes, taking spirulina strengthens the immune system and can limit infections caused by a deficiency in an immune function.
Finally, spirulina can prevent immune function weakening after prolonged and intense exercise.
- 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.