Boost Physical Performance
Moderate exercise is a healthy practice, but vigorous and exhaustive exercise generate the formation of free radicals when body cells burn fats. Excessive free radicals will cause damage to body cells, in which the muscle cells are unable to contract. Oxidative stress has harmful effects on muscle health, which can cause muscle pain and inflammation, increase in lactic acid, tissue damage, weakness and fatigue.
Astaxanthin, a natural product with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties1-2 has been found to increase strength and endurance. These benefits of astaxanthin have no age limit. A 2001 health survey involved 237 people between 20 and 87 years of age; 146 of them reported problems with muscles and joint soreness. 88% of the participants who took astaxanthin reported improvement in muscle and joint soreness. Over 80% of people who specifically mentioned the complaints on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or back pain reported improvement. In all cases, the more exercise an individual engages in, the more benefit it yields3.
Astaxanthin shows various benefits for the muscle performance, notably proven to:
- Speed up recovery time and boost muscle endurance to perform activity for a longer duration.
- Improve the blood flow and the quality of red blood cells by reducing the oxidation stress4. It also improves the fat burning by enhancing the capacity of mitochondria in the transportation of oxygen and energy to the cells5.
- Lower lactic acid that builds up during exercise, which results in reduction of muscle soreness. This improves the performance of hard and high quality training6.
- Help to reduce pain and inflammation by reducing the inflammatory markers; namely nitric oxide, prostaglandin E-2, interleukin 1b, tumour necrosis factor alpha, C reactive protein (CRP)7. The CRP is reduced more that 20 percent in only 8 weeks with the intake of Astaxanthin without any drug prescription8. The pain relief in the muscles and joints enable them to perform more activities.
- Improve muscle endurance by enhancing muscle lipid metabolism thus increasing aerobic endurance.
In a study sponsored by Gatorade, competitive cyclists were supplemented with a placebo or 4mg of natural astaxanthin daily for 4 weeks. From the endurance athletes’-or any competitive athletes’-perspective, the results were excellent. In a 20km cycling time trial, the performance of the subjects taking astaxanthin improved by 5%. In terms of power output, the astaxanthin group demonstrated 15% improvement in just 4 weeks . These results are particularly impressive since it is done on highly trained, competitive athletes
Improvement in time for 20km bike cyclists supplemented with 4mg of Astaxanthin10.
In another study conducted in Japan, Astaxathin’s effect on lactic acid in the muscles of 20 year-old men was measured. Lactic acid is an unwanted by-product of physical exertion, it deposits in the muscle and causes muscle fatigue, cramps and burning during exercise. Reducing lactic acid levels increases endurance. The treatment group took 6mg of astaxanthin daily for 4 weeks. Lactic acid was measured before running 1,200 meters and again 2 minutes after running. Subjects with astaxanthin has 28.6% lower serum lactic acid as compared to placebo group11. These findings suggest anyone wanting to clock a better time or go a little farther with their exercise to supplement with natural astaxanthin.
A 2007 study by Aoi et al. demonstrated that astaxanthin enhanced lipid metabolism in muscles by protecting the mitochondrial proteins that are responsible for fatty acid regulation.
Sarcopenia In Elderly
As we age, our body naturally lose muscle mass and function. However, for some of us, the decline will be abnormally swift and severe, with half of all adults in their 80’s believed to be suffering from a strength-loss syndrome called sarcopenia. This leads to frailty which affects daily life and can result in loss of independence. Statistics show that up to 11.5% of Asian population could be suffering from sarcopenia. The rate of sarcopenia onset can be worsened by poor lifestyle habits. Several common hallmarks of ageing, such as oxidative stress, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction, all contribute to sarcopenia.
Astaxanthin is not only the most powerful antioxidants, it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory which is able to reduces the muscle damage which may help the elderly adults that are suffering from sarcopenia.
Astaxanthin improves mobility in the elderly.12
Astaxanthin improves muscle function in active elderly13.
A randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind trial with 41 M & F subjects with age 65-80.
- 3 months of AstaReal® formula plus treadmill incline exercise (85% HR) 3x / week for 40-60 mins.
- Size of Tibialis anterior (TA) muscle were measured using 31P MR Spectroscopy.
- Strength and endurance of TA was measured by isometric dorsiflexion of the foot using a ramp protocol (increase speed of contraction) to fatigue.
AstaReal sponsored study
Clinical Benefits of Astaxanthin:
✔ Boosts muscle endurance and recovery
✔ Lowers lactic acid and fatigue
✔ Reduces muscle damage and inflammation
✔ Protects mitochondria and enhances fat metabolism by improving mitochondrial functions
✔ Improves muscle strength, muscle mass and mobility in elderly suffering from sarcopenia
- Ekpe, L., Inaku, K., Ekpe, V. Antioxidant effects of astaxanthin in various diseases – A review. J Mol Pathophysiol, 2018, 7(1): 1-6.
- Shimidzu, N., Goto, M., Miki, W. (1996). “Carotenoids as singlet oxygen quenchers in marine organisms.” Fisheries Science. 62(1): 134-137.
- Sawaki, K., et al. (2002). “Sports performance benefits from taking natural astaxanthin characterized by visual acuity and muscle fatigue improvements in humans.” Journal of Clinical Therapeutics & Medicines.18:(9)73-88..)
- Guerin, M., et al. (2002). “Haematococcus astaxanthin: health and nutrition ap- 177 plications.” Presented at the 1st Congress of the International Society for Applied Phycology/9th International Congress on Applied Phycology, May 26-30, 2002, Almeria, Spain.
- Earnest, CP., et al. (2011). “Effect of astaxanthin on cycling time trial performance.” International Journal of Sports Medicine.
- Lee SJ, Bai SK, Lee KS, Namkoong S, Na HJ, Ha KS, Han JA, Yim SV, Chang K, Kwon YG, Lee SK, Kim YM. Astaxanthin inhibits nitric oxide production and inflammatory gene expression by suppressing I(kappa)B kinase-dependent NF-kappaB activation. Mol Cells. 2003 Aug 31;16(1):97-105. PubMed PMID: 14503852.)
- Nakagawa K et al. Br J Nutr. 2011;31:1-9 13.)(Miyawaki H et al. Journal of Clinical Therapeutics and Medicines. 2008;21:4.
- Aoi W et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008; 366(4):892-897)( 7. Yamashita E. In: Anti-Aging Therapeutics Volume XII. 2010. p:345-359. ISBN 978-1-934715-05-5)( 14. Wolf AM et al. J Nutr Biochem. 2010;21(5):381-389.
- A collaboration between International Medical University (IMU) and Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation of Malaysia (ADFM): Raising Awareness of Alzheimer’s in Malaysia. 6 September 2017.
- Park JS et al. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2010;7:18.
- Ikeda, Y., et al. (2008). “Protective effects of astaxanthin on 6-hydroxydopamin-induced apoptosis in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells.” Journal of Neurochemistry. 107(6):1730-40.
- Fujino et al. Dietary astaxanthin supplementation improves walking performance and blood lactate level after walking test in community dwelling elderly subjects. Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise. 2016; 48:129.
- Liu et al. Building strength, endurance, and mobility using an astaxanthin formulation with functional training in elderly. Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle. 2018;9(5):826-833.