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Fourteen-Days Spirulina Supplementation Increases Hemoglobin, but Does Not Provide Ergogenic Benefit in Recreationally Active Cyclists: A Double-Blinded Randomized Crossover Trial

Ali, Yunus; Aubeeluck, Rama; Gurney, Tom; (2023) Fourteen-Days Spirulina Supplementation Increases Hemoglobin, but Does Not Provide Ergogenic Benefit in Recreationally Active Cyclists: A Double-Blinded Randomized Crossover Trial. J Diet Suppl 10.1080/19390211.2023.2263564. Green open access

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Abstract

Spirulina supplementation has been reported to increase hemoglobin concentration as well as a variety of cardiorespiratory and lactate-based performance parameters during maximal and submaximal states of exercise. This study investigates the efficacy of supplementing a 6 g/day dosage of spirulina for 14-days in recreationally active individuals, analyzing cardiorespiratory parameters during maximal and submaximal cycling as well as the potential mechanistic role of hemoglobin augmentation. 17 recreationally active individuals (Male = 14, Female = 3, Age 23 ± 5 years, V̇O2max 43.3 ± 8.6 ml/min·kg) ingested 6 g/day of spirulina or placebo for 14-days in a double-blinded randomized crossover study, with a 14-day washout period between trials. Participants completed a 20-min submaximal cycle at 40% maximal power output (WRmax), followed by a V̇O2max test. Hemoglobin (g/L), WRmax (watts), time to fatigue (seconds), heart rate (bpm), oxygen uptake (ml/min·kg), RER and blood lactate response (mmol/L) were measured and compared between conditions. Cardiorespiratory variables were recorded at 5-min intervals and lactate was measured at 10-min intervals during the submaximal exercise. There was a significant 3.4% increase in hemoglobin concentration after spirulina supplementation in comparison to placebo (150.4 ± 9.5 g/L Vs 145.6 ± 9.4 g/L, p = 0.047). No significant differences existed between either condition in both testing protocols for V̇O2max, WRmax, time to fatigue, heart rate, oxygen uptake, RER and blood lactate response (p > 0.05). 14-days of spirulina supplementation significantly improved hemoglobin concentration but did not lead to any considerable ergogenic improvements during maximal or submaximal exercise at a 6 g/day dosage in recreationally active individuals whilst cycling.

Type: Article
Title: Fourteen-Days Spirulina Supplementation Increases Hemoglobin, but Does Not Provide Ergogenic Benefit in Recreationally Active Cyclists: A Double-Blinded Randomized Crossover Trial
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/19390211.2023.2263564
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/19390211.2023.2263564
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Keywords: Algae, cycling, hemoglobin, spirulina
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10179120
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