Natural spirulina is a good dietary supplement for sportsmen and women because it helps to build up and maintain muscle bulk. It enables them to optimise muscle preparation during training as well as recovery after exercise. In order not to tire out the kidneys, do not exceed the recommended dose (3 to 10 g/day, depending on the source). Overview.
- Spirulina contains 60 to 70% protein. It has good protein quality because it has the 8 essential amino acids (including BCAA) that the body is not able to synthesize. These amino acids are needed to renew muscles. - Vitamin A is present as carotenoids at 80 to 260 mg per 100 g of spirulina. Besides its well-known role in night vision (useful for nocturnal activities such as motor sports, for example), it is also involved in cell and tissue renewal. Amino acids and vitamin A therefore take part in constructing and maintaining muscle bulk as well as in good muscle recovery.
- Carbohydrates are not present in sufficient amounts (15 to 25%) for them to affect glycogen reserves. On the other hand, group B vitamins are well represented and are involved in carbohydrate metabolism, either by enabling glucose storage as glycogen or by promoting their conversion to ATP, source of energy for the muscle. Content of group B vitamins in spirulina: Vitamin B1: 3.4 to 5 mg Vitamin B2: 3 to 4.6 mg Vitamin PP: 13 mg Vitamin B5: 0.46 to 2.5 mg Vitamin B6: 0.5 to 0.8 mg Vitamin B9: 50 µg
- Spirulina contains about 55 mg of iron. This is the essential constituent of haemoglobin, protein essential for transporting oxygen in the blood. When the blood passes through the lungs, oxygen is bound to the iron in haemoglobin and is thus transported to the muscles. It must however be remembered that the iron in spirulina is not haeminic and so less well absorbed than iron of animal origin.
- Vitamin B12 (10 to 34 µg per 100 g) is involved in haemopoiesis (formation of red corpuscles) but also in the nervous system. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause megaloblastic anaemia, which means a reduction in the number of red corpuscles with increased size, which leads to poor oxygenation of the organs and tissues. In the long term this can cause neurological problems.
Spirulina has a blue pigment, phycocyanin, which is attributed with antioxidant properties. Vitamins A and E are also natural antioxidants. These combat the formation of free radicals. During physical exertion, muscles consume more oxygen than normal. This leads to oxidation of certain molecules that then become toxic to the body. In 100 g of spirulina there are 5 to 19 mg of vitamin E.
100 g of spirulina contain about 130 mg of calcium, 300 mg of magnesium and 450 mg of sodium. These minerals are involved in muscular contraction; deficiencies can result in cramps, musculo-tendinous injuries and reduced performance.