SPIRULINA: the green supplement to try for powering up your nutrition!
Spirulina is a blue-green algae, often taken as a green powder mixed with water or juice. It garnered attention after it was used by NASA as a supplement for astronauts on space missions. Research has shown that it helps to reduce inflammation and sensitivity to pain, both of which may aid performance.
In a study that examined the ergogenic (enhance physical performance) and antioxidant effects of spirulina, people who were given about 2 ½ tsps. took significantly longer to fatigue and increased their fat burning by 10.9% compared to the placebo group!
Spirulina has been shown to decrease blood pressure and blood lipids such as triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol while also increasing HDL. Several studies found that it increases natural killer (NK) cells, which help the body rid itself of tumors and viruses. One study showed a 40% increase in these NK cells after a seven day dose of 400 milligrams of a spirulina supplement. That's just over one eighth of a tsp. per day!
Spirulina is needed in such small quantities to be effective that it can easily be mixed into your favourite protein shake with little to no flavour change. It can be found in most health food stores and in the health aisles of some supermarkets.