Astaxanthin is a natural chemical compound that can be found in marine and freshwater algae. This compound evolved in these microscopic life-forms to protect them against ultraviolet radiation and oxidative radicals. Astaxanthin has been shown through almost 3,000 scientific publications to perform as a super-antioxidant and major facilitator to decrease inflammation. Compared with all other natural and synthetic anti-oxidants, Astaxanthin surpasses all others to the extent that none are even a tenth as effective as Astaxanthin, including Acai. As a natural performance enhancing supplement, Astaxanthin can and will surpass all other supplements in the next 10 to 15 years.
The problem has been in production and sequestration of this compound. This naturally grown chemical compound cannot be effectively synthesized by the major pharmaceutical companies so it has not received much publicity in the past. One of the best producers of Astaxanthin is a Hawaii company called Cyanotech. Located on the Big Island, Cyanotech has been producing a consumable grade supplement called BioAstin that probably has the best effect on performance. Availability is limited though. A Florida company, Algae 2 Omega will be in production soon of the algae that produce Astaxanthin. Algae 2 Omega (A2O) will be teaming with supplement distributors such as Vitamin Shoppe, Garden of Life and others to bring a more appropriate dosage for the mixed martial arts athlete. The CEO and Chief Technology Officer of A2O are both longtime MMA practitioners and are dedicated to bringing this product to market.
We train for a multitude of reasons, each specific to the need of the task intended. A marathon runner runs to increase cardio vascular endurance while a power lifter lifts to increase muscle strength. Both require their bodies to perform similar tasks in the beginning. The brain sends a signal, the nerves fire, the muscles react and effort has begun. The muscles use stored-ATP as an energy source to begin the exercise, then carbohydrates and fats are metabolized to sustain longer periods of training. The actual system is much more complex than just described, but our focus not how the muscle works, it’s how to allow the muscle to work more efficiently.
Our whole body works on a chemical reaction principle whether it’s the brain, a muscle, an organ or any part of the body. It is this process that is the focus of how to train longer and harder. Your body is a living laboratory of reactions which has evolved into what you see and basically we all fall into some form of, “You are what you eat”. Eating a garbage diet without any exercise or a good diet with exercise will give you a body relative to your lifestyle. The physical aspect eating to “create” the energy needed to perform still has to follow the laws of biochemical physiology in order to be valid.
When you eat a nutrient dense meal, you body processes some of the food into energy immediately and then stores the rest for future use. It is your body’s ability to store and use the chemical energy when needed that has the most impact on your performance level. Some athletes can convert their food stores into energy quickly in order to recover faster and train for long periods while some athletes, even with the same diet, gas quickly. How can Astaxanthin assist both types of athletes’ metabolism? The answer is by decreasing inflammation and free radical oxidants within the body.
We all incur diminished capacity due to exercise, eating too much, sickness and infection. All of these can increase free radical formation in the blood and intracellular spaces. Your body naturally reacts through inflammation to counteract this diminished capacity, but in order to return to optimal performance and health that inflammation must be reduced. The simplest example for the MMA athlete is when your muscle inflame due to overtraining and exercise takes a back seat to recovery. Reducing inflammation is paramount to unlocking the full potential of your body and what you ingest denotes how fast recovery can take place.
Let’s take a look at three simple examples. Brain inflammation is a common symptom in concussion, cancer treatments and overheating. To reduce swelling in the brain mass transfer must occur across the blood-brain barrier. Transfer across this barrier is facilitated by fat-soluble molecules. So if a supplement is fat-soluble and has anti-inflammation properties, then it will help promote healthy brain functions. Astaxanthin does just that. Second is the reduction of inflammation in the digestive track. This is important because without an accelerated or enhanced uptake of nutrients, the body will only survive and not excel. Depending on the amount of inflammation, your intestines will absorb only what it can and expel the rest. Proper diet can help the normal person but for an athlete supplementation is very important. Third is decreasing the inflammation in muscles and joints. Recover and proper diet will help, but supplementation with Astaxanthin has already been reported in multiple scientific publications to speed up the healing process.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid found primarily in microalgae. It is a fat-soluble nutrient complex of carotenoids including beta-carotene, lutein and canthaxanthin. There is plenty of validity on the proven effectiveness of Astaxanthin and how important it is to supplement your diet with this carotenoid. We have had personal success by using Astaxanthin during training and also giving this to other people with a wide range of health problems. Our goal is to inform everyone we can about this extremely important antioxidant for overall health, especially the athlete who would like to increase overall performance.
Performance is an ambiguous term that can fall under categories like mental or physical. Since inflammation is the inhibitor of peak performance, the athlete must approach the solution from an educated position. As discussed above, inflammation in the brain will decrease signal output which in turn will not allow the muscles to react effectively. The muscles will then become more inflamed and block delivery of nutrients that would be used to combat soreness. Inflammation in the digestive track will decrease uptake and fewer nutrients are delivered to the body to help repair and recover. So by simply reducing inflammation you can increase performance.
Astaxanthin is not a mythical silver bullet. But, it could be the silver that makes up the bullet. Without the primer, gun powder and casing all you have is silver that has no way of getting to its intended goal. By targeting inflammation with exercise, diet and supplementation using Astaxanthin you will hit the sweet spot of performance.
Geronimos Dimitrelos is the CEO of Algae to Omega. Wrestled Division 1 at University of Central Florida and University of Minnesota. He qualified for Greco-Roman world team at 39. Other disciples range from Judo/Jujitsu to Greco/Freestyle.
Jason Masters is the Chief Technology Officer at Algae to Omega. He holds a Masters in Marine Chemistry and a MBA in Finance and Strategy. He has been an Aikido practitioner for over 16 years.