The efficacy of microalgae supplementation for exercise performance

Gurney, Tom, Brouner, James and Spendiff, Owen (2023) The efficacy of microalgae supplementation for exercise performance. In: Dominguez, Herminia , Pereira, Leonel and Kraan, Stefan, (eds.) Functional ingredients from algae for foods and nutraceuticals. 2nd ed. Oxford, U.K. : Woodhead Publishing. pp. 565-592. (Woodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition) ISBN 9780323988193


Athletes across the globe are continuously looking for new, efficacious supplements to aid them with nutrition, health, and performance. Microalgae supplementation has received much attention in nutritional clinical trials, with positive results being reported on physiological parameters associated with antioxidants, hypertension, and inflammation. Consequently, researchers have been attempting to investigate whether microalgae may also be beneficial for athletes, though research thus far is equivocal. This chapter presents an overview on the efficacy of microalgae supplementation for exercise performance, with the predominant focus on the most popular species, namely spirulina and chlorella, though some other novel algae are also highlighted. A discussion on how microalgae may influence different exercise modalities is provided across four main areas (cycling, running, power proxies, and upper body) that have been investigated. Possible future avenues are also explored and summarized.

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