Muscle... Some people want it, others don't. Here we're not talking about "bulk," meaning gaining mass or volume, but rather about muscle.
But what's the point of gaining muscle?
- Improving health and fighting the aging process: Building muscle can help improve overall health, allowing you to walk without a cane, get up from a chair on your own, and this muscle can be built consistently starting from the age of 20. After the age of 40, muscle is built at a slower rate, and most people engage in less physical activity, unlike us!
- Maintaining or changing your body's appearance according to your goals.
- Increasing strength: Building muscle can help you stand for longer periods without fatigue, improve your posture, and lift heavier objects, which can be beneficial in your daily life.
- Enhancing physical capabilities and performance in other sports besides weight training itself.
- A body that has more muscle than water or fat mass will burn more calories at rest compared to one with less muscle. It will have a higher metabolic rate and burn more calories.
Training/Weightlifting and Spirulina
This superfood is increasingly popular among athletes and in sports nutrition due to the numerous benefits it provides for athletes and its high protein content.
Spirulina can be consumed in the form of powder or dietary supplements to reap all its benefits.Spirulina, a superfood
Spirulina contains over 70% protein, including 50% essential amino acids. With 7g of protein, you obtain 4g of digestible protein. Unlike most plant- or animal-based proteins, spirulina does not have a cell wall, making it easier to digest and absorb nutrients.
Considered a magical algae, spirulina is one of the richest sources of protein you can consume, beneficial for both your health and muscle development.
It is also rich in vitamin E and B, beta-carotene, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.What are the benefits of spirulina?
Improved endurance: Whether you're engaged in weightlifting, boxing, football, or running, possessing good endurance and cardiovascular performance is essential. Spirulina can contribute to improving your muscle endurance due to its high iron and antioxidant content. It promotes muscle oxygenation, which is particularly beneficial for activities like running or swimming.
Fat burning and appetite suppression: Proteins are known to be among the most difficult nutrients to digest, requiring more energy expenditure during digestion, thereby increasing energy expenditure and promoting weight loss. Spirulina contains approximately 60-70% protein and few calories, making it an effective food for fat burning. Additionally, spirulina acts as an appetite suppressant due to its high nutritional density and the presence of phenylalanine, leading to a greater sense of satiety while supporting detoxification.
Increased endurance also helps prolong physical effort, promoting calorie burning.
Ultimately, it depends on your personal goals.
Increased muscle mass: By including spirulina in a balanced diet and combining it with physical activity, the amino acids it contains can promote the development of quality muscle mass, specifically lean muscle mass. It is important to emphasize that nutrition and physical exercise are key elements in achieving your fitness goals, but spirulina can provide an additional stimulating effect.
Reduced fatigue and pain: Consuming spirulina can help tone muscles and increase their resistance to exertion, reducing the risk of injuries and muscle fatigue. This property is largely due to beta-carotene, a superfood that reduces muscle soreness and promotes muscle recovery. When beta-carotene is combined with phycocyanin, it also offers anti-inflammatory properties. While there is no substitute for rest days, spirulina can help speed up recovery, thereby reducing the risk of cramps, injuries, or muscle soreness.
Strengthening the immune system
Spirulina also has an impact on your immune system: studies have tested its use in patients consuming between 1 to 3 grams of spirulina daily.
These patients showed an increase in immune cells and interferon (a substance in the body with antiviral, anticancer, and immune-modulating properties) in the body.
Improvement of body oxygenation
To improve the oxygenation of the body, the best trace element is iron. It promotes the circulation of red blood cells in the blood, which allows for more efficient nourishment of the muscles and better oxygenation of the muscles.
Again, this helps to resist fatigue, optimize recovery, or improve the endurance of your muscle fibers.
And if endurance is your priority, don't hesitate to combine spirulina with adaptogenic plants such as ginseng, chaga, or maca.
Spirulina helps fight fatigue: if you consume it before or after your physical exertion, it helps replenish your glycogen stores, especially if you combine the benefits of spirulina with maca or acerola.
This energy boost is mainly due to a carbohydrate content between 15 and 20%, allowing spirulina to combine energy supply and glycogen storage.
If you're used to training more than 3 times a week, it's possible that fatigue sometimes catches up with you because you haven't properly rested your muscles (and your mind) before the next session: spirulina can help address this issue.
Naturopaths recommend taking between 2 and 7 grams of fresh spirulina every day, depending on your body weight (e.g., an adult weighing 70 kg —> 3g): the larger you are, the closer you can aim to the higher end of the 7-gram range.
But note that for the majority of athletes, the effects are felt quickly and at low doses.
Consult a naturopath or a doctor to obtain the appropriate dose for your body.
When to consume spirulina?
In the morning, spirulina prepares your muscles for physical exertion and increases your endurance. After exercise, for muscle recovery and to prevent tissue inflammation. (Not more than 2 hours between exercise and spirulina) 15 minutes before your meal: for better digestion and to have a fat-burning effect.
Pay attention to several points: Respect the recommended dosages. Taking too much could lead to undesirable side effects:Headaches; Mild fevers; Digestive system dysfunction; Bloating; Discoloration of stools;Nausea; Stomach cramps
Additionally, since spirulina is an algae, it has a high iodine content: abstain from consuming it if you have an allergy to iodine.
Finally, people with kidney or liver problems or other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis should not consume spirulina.
It's best to consult a healthcare expert to get their recommendations based on your specific case.