Spirulina to boost sports performance

Nico Zen on the benefits of spirulina.

We ask vegan super athlete Nico Pfitzenmaier, also known as Nico Zen, what his professional opinion is on how to take spirulina powder for optimal sports performance.

Nico Zen soaring free superfoods vegan athlete 300x300 - Spirulina to boost sports performance” Spirulina powder in my opinion is the most beneficial endurance Superfood. It has become my trusted ‘companion’ whilst training and racing… 

It literally provides everything you need as an athlete:

As a vegan it has become my prime source of protein with 75% of its biomass being pure protein , which is three times more than beef. Spirulina’s protein is easily digested, assimilated and is more absorbable than beef protein. Hence it has a much higher net gain and creates less stress on the body during digestion.

When I do mountain bike races, I take spirulina tables, which I put into a small pop up lid container, in regular intervals. After the first intense phase of the race where the muscles get flooded with lactic acid, I take spirulina tablets to help buffer and alkalize the blood again. Its high mineral density helps to bring down the acidity levels in the body which gives you sense of feeling as if you hit a reset button, so you can keep pushing forward.

Interestingly, unlike other glycogen sources, spirulina’s glycogen content is immediately available to the human metabolism because it has the same nutrient profile as a human.  Other starch and carbohydrates have to undergo a long process of “reconstruction” into glycogen, while drawing blood from the muscles into the digestive tract. If you use glucose or fructose instead, then you get a short rush which leaves you without the glycogen signal to the liver to provide more energy to your cells, resulting in unstable energy levels.

Nico Zen 1000x640 300x192 - Spirulina to boost sports performanceAnother beautiful benefit of spirulina is that it helps build red blood cells.

Both choloropyll  and hemoglobin belong to the same porphyrin pigment with almost the same chemical structure. The only difference is that the plant “blood” chlorophyll has magnesium in it’s core and hemoglobin in human blood  has iron in it’s core. The similarity of the to structures enable a transformation of chlorophyll into hemoglobin in the human body.

Additional benefits are its antioxidants count – it contains a striking ORAC ( Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ) value of 61900 which is one of the highest of any food. As you may know antioxidants fight harmful free radicals in the body and while training, free radicals get released in the body and  impair our immune function, damages tissue, and generally weakens or destroys cells. Super oxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme found in spirulina, helps as an antioxidant catalyst to get rid of free radicals, slow down inflammation and oxidative stress by reducing cellular damage, including DNA cell damage.

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2 CommentS

  1. Denise JohannesOctober 15, 2018

    Morning if l run a marathon how much sprirulina must l take please and thank you God bless

    • Alana MitchellOctober 17, 2018

      Hi Denise, If you have never taken spirulina before then you need to start slow and build up over time This is because it’s very good at removing toxins from the body and if you take a big does to start, you may get detox symptoms like a headache or flu. We recommend starting with 3 to 5 tablets. For a marathon people have taken as many as 40 tablets, but that’s for seasoned spirulina takers. You will have to find your own sweet spot through experimenting. Good luck!

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