According to a new research, the potential of spinach is so high that it acts as an enhancer for athletic performances. There are active components present in spinach which helps in increasing the muscle strength. Hence the authors recommend curbing the use of spinach supplements by sports persons.
What is in spinach? Spinach has an extract which largely enhances performance by athletics. Spinach has very high amounts of iron, magnesium and calcium. Hence it is often referred to as a superfood.
There are a few studies that suggest a lot of health benefits of spinach. This includes cancer prevention, asthma prevention, lowering of blood pressure, improvement in condition of diabetes, and lot more.
This new study on spinach identifies the potential of the plant in an all new perspective. In this study, spinach is considered as a dietary supplement instead of taking it as a food by itself.
There is the compound called ecdysterone. The impact and effectiveness of this compound on athletic performance and its helpfulness in improving muscle strength are analyzed in detail.
What is ecdysterone? It is a major component present in spinach and its extract. This is a type of phytosteroid which means it is a naturally occurring steroid. It falls under the category phtosterols. These are quite similar to cholesterol in its structure.
There were previous studies conducted on spinach. These studies boast of the benefits of ecdysteroids that have got a number of advantageous effects. According to researchers, back in 1980s, the component is referred to as Russian secret as the component was suspected to be used to boost supplement by Olympic athletes.
Furthermore, there are other studies on ecdysterone as well where spinach is said to boost protein synthesis in our muscles. Professors involved in these studies explain vitro and vivo studies are evident of ecdysterone being very effective compared to steroids which are generally banned in sports.
Exploring ecdysterone and muscle strength
The study involved performing double blind study where about 46 young athletes were assessed. These people were divided into 2 groups where one group was given spinach extract and the other one got placebo. The participants as well as researchers were left with no clue about what they were given with. This intervention continued on for about 10 weeks.
In this period, those belonging to the intervention group got various dosage of ecdysterone with supplements in order to affirm its effects towards increasing performance.
There were blood and urine samples obtained from the participants. These samples were then analyzed for ecdysterone. There was a detailed analysis of the substance that is curbed from use for enhancing performance.
Improved muscle mass and enhanced performance
According to the results obtained, participants who had ecdysterone showed improved muscle mass. As far as the vitro experiments are concerned, the results prove that there is certain interaction between ecdysterone and estrogen receptor beta. According to the results, there is also improvement in performing one repetition bench press. Coming on to the toxicity to kidney oror liver, there is no such symptom with the blood or urine samples. So these test results are evident of how effective ecdysterone supplements are in terms of sports performance, say scientists.
Scientists further explain that participants who had lesser does of supplements of about 2 pills per day of ecdysterone is more or less similar to 250 grams of spinach.
Hence, in order to obtain the fullest benefits of the low dose, about 250 grams to 4 kg of spinach is required to be consumed for a period of 10 weeks.