Tuesday November 19, 2019

Spinach intake can Boost Sports Performance, says Study

Intake of nitrates, typically found in spinach, can boost sports performance particularly at high altitudes with low oxygen conditions

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Spinach, wikimedia
  • Nitrate, commonly found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, is important for the functioning of the human body, especially during exercise
  • This is probably the first study to demonstrate that a simple nutritional supplementation strategy, i.e. oral nitrate intake, can impact on training-induced changes in muscle fibre composition
  • This leafy plant spinach is also full of protein, Vitamins B, Calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids

London, October 6, 2016: Intake of nitrates, typically found in spinach, can boost sports performance particularly at high altitudes with low oxygen conditions, a study has found.

Nitrate, commonly found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, is important for the functioning of the human body, especially during exercise.

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The study showed that nitrate supplementation in conjunction with sprint interval training (SIT) — short, high intensity exercise — in low oxygen conditions could enhance sport performance.

For the study, a research team from the University of Leuven in Belgium examined 27 moderately trained participants. They were given nitrate supplements ahead of SIT, which took the form of short but intense cycling sessions three times a week.

Further, to assess differences in performance in different conditions, they included workouts in normal oxygen conditions and in hypoxia conditions, which are low oxygen levels such as those found in high altitudes.

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After five weeks, the muscle fibre composition changed with the enhanced nitrate intake when training in low oxygen conditions.

“This is probably the first study to demonstrate that a simple nutritional supplementation strategy, i.e. oral nitrate intake, can impact on training-induced changes in muscle fibre composition,” said Peter Hespel, Professor at the University of Leuven.

Athletes participating in sports competitions require energy production in conditions with limited amounts of oxygen.

In these conditions, performing intense workouts requires high input of fast-oxidative muscle fibres to sustain the power.

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Enhancing these muscle fibre types through nutritional intake could very well boost the performance, the study said.

“It would now be interesting to investigate whether addition of nitrate-rich vegetables to the normal daily sports diet of athletes could facilitate training-induced muscle fibre type transitions and maybe in the long term also exercise performance,” Hespel said.

The observations were published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology. (IANS)

  • Antara

    Spinach has always been a great and healthy veggie to intake!

  • Diksha Arya

    Well Popeye the sailor has known it for a very long time…

Next Story

Protein Found in Spinach May Treat Alcohol Abuse, Mood Disorders

The researchers are actively pursuing synthetic and computational strategies to improve these peptides to make them more effective

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Spinach, wikimedia

A large protein found in spinach may aid in the development of new medications for millions around the world dealing with alcohol use disorders, chronic pain and mood disorders, researchers said.

The study, led by researchers from the Purdue University, discovered two peptides which are naturally metabolic products of Rubisco — a large protein found in many plants like spinach — that may aid in the development of new medications.

“These disorders are currently not adequately managed,” said Richard van Rijn, Assistant Professor at Purdue.

 “Better medications that take a more holistic approach and produce fewer side effects will be beneficial.

“We discovered that these peptides selectively activate the known beneficial pathways without activating the ‘side-effect pathways’ of the receptor,” van Rijn added.

Spinach-protein may offer treatment for alcohol abuse, mood disorders.

The discovery, published in the European Neuropsychopharmacolgy, aims to develop molecules that only activate the cellular signalling pathways associated with their therapeutic effect.

Preclinical studies suggest that the peptides are orally bioavailable and able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, both of which are necessary for a drug to effectively treat a disorder of the central nervous system, van Rijn said.

Also Read- Samsung To Unveil New Monitors For Gamers at CES 2019

The researchers are actively pursuing synthetic and computational strategies to improve these peptides to make them more effective.

The rubiscolin peptides are also being investigated for their ability to regulate dietary intake and are even commercially available in anti-ageing skin products. (IANS)