Nutrients protect muscle, preserve immunity
- Carbohydrate-protein reduces muscle damage
This trial aimed to determine the best way to increase endurance and reduce muscle damage. In the study, 10 recreationally active male runners took a 60-minute running test at 70 percent of maximum oxygen capacity, immediately followed by an unlimited endurance running test to exhaustion at 80 percent oxygen capacity. Each participant completed these two tests three times, resting for seven days in between tests.
Participants either took maltodextrin carbohydrate before the first and second phases; took whey protein isolate then carbohydrate; or took carbohydrate then protein. It didn’t matter if runners took protein before or during exercise: either way reduced inflammation more than carbohydrate alone. While carbohydrate with protein reduced post-exercise muscle damage, endurance capacity did not change.
Reference: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; October 2022, 623-7
- Spirulina boosted immunity in athletes
High intensity training and exercise can reduce the number of white blood cells—leukocytes and monocytes—that are responsible for the immune response and tissue repair. Spirulina contains compounds that modulate the immune response.
In this study, 39 college football players took a placebo or 1 gram of spirulina three times per day during eight weeks of intense training. After eight weeks, the placebo group saw a significant decrease in the number of leukocytes and in the ratio of monocytes to leukocytes, likely reducing the athletes’ resistance to pathogen infection. The spirulina group retained the same level of leukocytes, and the ratio of monocytes to leukocytes, as at the start of the study, likely protecting immunity and resistance to infection.
Reference: Nutrients; September 2022, Vol. 14, No. 20, 4346