Spirulina

 

Spirulina is a very popular food supplement with sportsmen and women for its many virtues, but what exactly does this microalgae contain?

Mathilde, the hydration and food supplement product engineer at Aptonia, and Etienne, a nutrionist dietician, help us to gain a better understanding of the properties and benefits of spirulina.

1/ WHAT IS SPIRULINA?

DEFINITION OF SPIRULINA

It's a microalgae that's classed as a superfood. This category applies to food products with a very high concentration of highly nutritious components, e.g. goji berries, acai, turmeric, ginger, etc.) It is grown in water basins: It filters the water and, as a result, becomes rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. So this is a product that's naturally rich in proteins, with our own version containing 60%. To grow high-quality spirulina, the water in the basins must be of the highest standard, since this microalgae filters all the elements, good and bad (including heavy metals).

What's more, spirulina naturally contains iron and minerals.

WHY DID WE DECIDE TO DEVELOP SPIRULINA AT APTONIA?

We wanted a product that would help sportsmen and women recover better between training sessions when stocking up reserves before a competition or for long-term treatment (no need to wait for competitions). Spirulina contributes to good muscle recovery and improves tone.

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

This algae is originally from India. The initial aim was to produce French spirulina, but sometimes there is a gulf between what you want to achieve and what is achievable! Currently, none of the organically certified French spirulina has a protein content of more than 60%. We chose India because it is the country where spirulina is competitively priced, of a high standard and free of contamination.

THE PRODUCT SEEMS COMPLICATED – WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE DURING THE PROJECT?

We'd have liked to optimise the anti-oxidant content, but that wasn't an option since there's no way to control those quantities during production. You can control the protein content but not that of anti-oxidants because there are too many factors affecting the composition of the water. We could have added some to reach the minimum level but we wanted a product that's 100% natural and organic.

HOW IS SPIRULINA PROCESSED?

We chose to sell it as a tablet, which is relatively simple to make: the spirulina is dried, then ground and finally compressed. No products are added, which is convenient!

Aptonia lab

2/ HOW IS SPIRULINA INCORPORATED WITHIN YOUR DIET?

THE RECOMMENDED DOSE FOR A COURSE OF SPIRULINA

Our spirulina is taken in gradually increasing doses, starting with 1 g the first week, then 2 g, then 3 g, to be taken at mealtimes, preferably in the morning. Why 3 g ? Because it is optimally effective at 3 g, according to most studies. However, since the body needs time to adapt, the dosage should be increased gradually. And the reason the tablets should be taken at mealtimes is to prevent digestion problems and to offset the intense taste of spirulina. This product is suitable for vegetarians.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COURSE OF MAGNESIUM/ VITAMINS AND A COURSE OF SPIRULINA?

A course of magnesium/vitamins gives the body the vitamins and minerals it needs to reduce fatigue, while the spirulina mainly provides protein to aid muscle recovery and boost your energy levels.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BCAAs AND SPIRULINA?

Given their origin, composition and use, these two products are incomparable.

On the one hand, BCAAs are 3 amino acids that cannot be synthesised by our body (essential amino acid). On the other hand, spirulina is a food product that contains 8 essential amino acids (a complete protein). And unlike BCAAs, spirulina contains other micronutrients.

While spirulina helps to boost your energy levels, the BCAAs are used after the physical effort.  

HOW IS THE COURSE OF SPIRULINA INCORPORATED WITHIN A HIGH-PROTEIN DIET?

As a rule of thumb, the normal protein intake for an average individual should be between 1.2g and 1.5g per kg of total body weight. For example, a person weighing 67 kg should be consuming between 80.4 g and 100.5 g of protein per day in their diet (this is equivalent to about 12-15% of their total calorie intake). For a high-protein diet, this value increases to between 2.2 g and 2.5 g of protein per kg per day. You need about 50 g more protein than usual. Given that 3g of spirulina contains about 1.8 g of protein, it will not be the only source of protein. However it will be invaluable in providing the varied amino acids that help to assimilate the amino acids coming from the diet.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COURSE OF SPIRULINA AND TAKING PROTEIN JUST AFTER A PHYSICAL EFFORT?

The course of spirulina has a preventive purpose as it helps to boost your energy levels before making a physical effort. 

However, taking protein after making a physical effort helps to maintain muscle mass.

charlotte-aptonia

Charlotte

As a sports enthusiast, I practised dancing for a long time before discovering triathlon. From the moment of my very first race, I was hooked! As a specialist of the Sprint and Olympic distances, I love the variety of the sport in terms of the different disciplines as well as the different settings. With triathlon, you are always guaranteed a challenge and a very enjoyable experience!

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