Can Consuming Spinach Enhance Performance in Jiu Jitsu?

Can Consuming Spinach Enhance Performance in Jiu Jitsu?

Spinach, famously known as the strength-booster of Popeye, may have some truth to its reputation. Researchers at the Free University of Berlin conducted a study supporting the idea that spinach can improve physical performance.
The Institute of Pharmacy at the university carried out a 10-week strength training program with 46 athletes to assess physical performance. During the experiment, some participants were given a placebo, while others received ecdysterone capsules containing the equivalent of up to 4 kilograms of raw spinach per day.

The athletes who consumed ecdysterone experienced significant improvements in performance, particularly in terms of strength. They were able to lift heavier weights compared to the participants who received the placebo.
The group that received ecdysterone saw a 9-kilogram increase in their lifting capacity, while the placebo group only progressed by 3 kilograms in the same exercise.

What makes this finding intriguing is that ecdysterone does not seem to have the same harmful effects on the liver and kidneys as most steroids.

However, it is important to note that further research is required before spinach can be considered a reliable asset for athletes looking to enhance their performance through strength training. Furthermore, a scientific article published in the Archives of Toxicology suggests that ecdysterone could potentially be added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of banned substances due to its steroid-like effects.

Maria Parr, one of the researchers involved in the study, recommended that WADA consider adding ecdysterone to the list to eliminate any unfair advantage it may provide.

Ultimately, the decision to ban ecdysterone will be made by a panel of experts at WADA, following additional investigations into its prevalence in professional sports.

In the realm of Jiu Jitsu, the crackdown on doping has become increasingly strict. Former World Champions have faced severe penalties and lost their titles due to the use of prohibited substances. The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) has announced more frequent drug testing this season, even in events with cash prizes.
Therefore, prioritizing health suggests avoiding anabolic steroids, maintaining a healthy diet (with or without spinach, but in moderation), and focusing on developing technical skills.

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