Astaxanthin is a carotenoid which, when taken by humans, becomes a powerful antioxidant with a whole range of health benefits.
Further studies have shown that people in the health and fitness industry can benefit greatly from astaxanthin.
Continue reading this article to learn more about why people working out should be consuming natural products rich in astaxanthin.
As mentioned above, astaxanthin is a carotenoid; a pigment that is responsible for an organism’s bright colour. It shares similar properties to beta-carotene, except that while beta-carotene is responsible for the colours of sweet potatoes and carrots, astaxanthin imparts a reddish colour.
It can be found naturally in a variety of marine life, such as algae, crabs, lobsters, salmon and trout. Humans are unable to produce carotenoids by themselves, meaning that someone without a diet containing seafood will consume little to no astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin has many different benefits for overall health, including:
- Boosting the immune system
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Reducing the risk of diabetes
Furthermore, it has been proven that astaxanthin can have a positive impact on DNA care, in particular from UV damage. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine reported that astaxanthin improved the DNA repair capacity of cells exposed to UV radiation.
So with this in mind, let’s now focus on how astaxanthin can benefit the fitness industry.
The number one thing that athletes, or anyone in the fitness space needs, is energy to perform. When muscles are working at their hardest, substances like lactic acid are produced that can actually harm the body.
These are known as free radicals.
As training becomes increasingly challenging on the muscles, the more free radicals are produced. If the body cannot detoxify quickly enough, the number of free radicals can become too much cause to muscle fatigue weakness, fatigue and even pain.
However, a diet includes a natural intake of astaxanthin prevents a build-up of lactic acid and protects the body from producing too many free radicals, leading to an increase in strength and less likely to fatigue.
It does this by assisting cells in the body call mitochondria, which are responsible for producing ATP which is then used for energy. For optimal performance, mitochondria cells need to be working at their best.
Increased endurance means that training sessions can last longer under high intensity, This has benefits for both training programs based on either weight training or cardio.
For weight training, muscles can continue to lift heavier weights for longer periods of time, leading to increased muscle strength and mass, while it can be easier to run for longer and for further on cardio-based sessions.
A study was taken by researchers at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology can improve muscle endurance by up to 150% due to the substance encouraging the use of fatty acids as an extra source of energy.
This means that naturally consuming astaxanthin can have a big effect on the intensity of training, increasing the number of repetitions possible in weight lifting and running faster for longer cardio sessions.
There was another study conducted on the performance of professional cyclists consuming astaxanthin. Doctors said that astaxanthin increased the number of muscle enzymes that help convert fat to energy.
14 competitive cyclists took either 4mg of astaxanthin per day or a placebo. After 28 days, the bikers fasted and rode for two hours to deplete their levels of carbohydrates and then took a 12-mile time trial. The results showed that the astaxanthin group completed the trial much faster than the placebo group.
Improved Muscle Recovery
Once a workout has finished, it’s important that enough rest and fuel is provided to the body so it can recover.
For athletes that find they aren’t recovering as quickly as they should after a workout, research has shown that astaxanthin can speed it up.
A study in Japan measured recovery from exercise in healthy volunteers. One group was provided astaxanthin while the other had a placebo. Both the test and control groups took their respective 5mg doses over a 2 week period.
Both groups were asked to do progressively greater loads in a stepwise exercise.
The results showed the the subjects taking astaxanthin had a more efficient metabolism during exercise, an improved respiratory-circulatory ability, decreased levels of fatigue and an increase in antioxidant profiles.
These results led the researchers to conclude that recovery ability from exercise stress may be improved by taking Astaxanthin.
There were additional benefits found through blood analyses. The astaxanthin subjects had significantly less low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in their bloodstream and significantly higher creatine phosphokinase, which aids in muscle strength.
Increase In Fat Loss
In order to lose fat, and weight in general for that matter, the body must burn more calories than it takes in. Astaxanthin can help improve the rate of fat loss because it gives athletes the ability to train harder for longer.
Research has shown that this is because astaxanthin helps to protect the system that transports the fat molecules to mitochondria cells in the body.
As mentioned earlier, mitochondria are responsible for the production of energy. Because the transport system is protected, the body can continue to provide more fat to these calls, meaning more fat can be burned to produce energy.
A study has concluded that natural astaxanthin has been shown to inhibit weight-gain linked with a high-fat diet. Furthermore, when astaxanthin is combined with exercise, it is even more effective in reducing weight due to its high antioxidant capacity, protective effect during energy production in mitochondria.
This also has another positive impact. As the body can use more and more fat to provide energy, it doesn’t need to break down muscle, leading to a leaner and stronger frame.
Athletes working out should consume natural products rich in astaxanthin because, along with numerous health benefits, it can improve levels of performance, muscle recovery and endurance, as well as inhibit weight-gain and encourage fat loss.
This post comes from JGBilling, a medical coding outsourcing company