Maybe Popeye was right to eat spinach for his strength!
A study shows the impressive benefits of spinach extract, so much so that the researchers suggest it should be added to the list of prohibited substances in sport.
The study compared a high dose spinach extract with a placebo (fake intervention) in 46 males over 10 weeks.
Those taking the spinach extract had a much higher increase in muscle mass than those in the placebo group.
Perhaps even more enticing for athletes and gym-goers was that they also had a significantly more pronounced increases in one-repetition bench press performance.
You would need to eat between 1-16kg of spinach DAILY to get as much of the active ingredient ecdysterone that was tested (depending on the variety and season). It was also taken alongside the protein building block leucine – an amino acid.
So, while it’s very unlikely that you’ll notice a significant difference after just one serve of spinach, it’s a good reminder of Mother Nature’s biochemical brilliance!
Plants are packed with hundreds of different chemicals, each with their own unique potential benefits. No pill can match that recipe.