What Is Moringa and What are Its Benefits for Athletes?
Moringa Oleifera is the newest miracle superfood that every health enthusiast is raving about! If you haven’t heard about moringa by now, you’ve either been living in a cave or spending too much time on Netflix. The last few years have seen an explosive rise in the use of moringa nutritional supplements like moringa powder, moringa capsules, and even moringa oil. But, is moringa really a recent discovery? The simple answer is no.
Moringa, also known as the drumstick tree, is a nutrient-rich tree indigenous to Sub-Himalayan regions of India where its fruit and leaves have been used for centuries for its vast range of nutritional and healing benefits. In fact, every single part of this tree can be consumed- its highly nutritious leaves and fruit are used for cooking whereas the bark, roots, flowers and seeds are used for traditional Ayurveda and Siddha herbal medicines. If you are an endurance athlete, sportsperson, yoga enthusiast, swimmer, or just someone looking to boost your overall health, this wonder tree has a lot of unbeatable benefits to offer that no other nutritional supplement can give you. Read on to find out how moringa can help you attain your health, fitness and wellness goals especially if you are into intensive and physically exhausting sports.
What are the benefits of moringa for Athletes?
Are you a professional or even amateur athlete who regularly competes in endurance sports? Are rigorous practice sessions, core yoga workouts and intense gym stints a part of your daily life? If you are no stranger to intense physical activity, you probably understand the body’s struggle to recover from muscle injury and nutrient depletion. You may feel weak and sore for days without any respite.
Strenuous exercise can deplete the body’s protein, vitamin and mineral reserves making it extremely difficult to recover from injuries. Moreover, competitive or physically demanding athletic activity produces lactic acid in the body that raises acidity levels in muscle cells resulting in muscle tension, pain and loss of muscle flexibility. During intense athletic activity, it is difficult for the body to compensate and deal with the free radicals that result from this activity. Here is how our nutritional superhero moringa can help your body in its healing and strengthening process
Complete protein: Moringa is considered a complete protein which is crucial for muscle building especially if you are a vegan athlete, trainer or yoga practitioner. Almost 30% of the moringa leaf is made up various forms of protein that are essential building blocks for your muscles. Moreover, plant proteins tend to be healthier than animal proteins as they have fewer calories and a higher fiber and nutrient content than their meat-based counterparts. It’s probably time to start adopting plant-based nutrients as much as possible!
Anti-inflammatory properties: Do you know that inflammation is the main cause of pain and soreness after a workout? Moringa has powerful anti-inflammatory properties owing to its high concentration of isocyanates, biophenols and essential amino acids that reduce inflammation and assist in muscle recovery after an intense workout at the gym or a rigorous game. Having moringa on a regular basis will help your body cope with the physical demands of your athleticism.
Anti-oxidant properties: Endurance sports can cause a high amount of oxidative stress. If you are a professional athlete, performance is everything. Anti-oxidants have a bearing on your athletic performance, agility and flexibility as they reduce exercise-induced oxidative damage and help the body recover faster. Moringa is a fantastic natural anti-oxidant supplement as it contains an abundance of free-radical fighting agents like quercetin and chlorogenic acid that combat waste buildup, cell damage and muscle exhaustion.
Anti-fatigue properties: Studies conducted on swimming performance have shown that moringa extracts improve blood hemoglobin and glycogen reserves during physical activity and reduce triglycerides, urea and lactic acid. This demonstrates that it has potent anti-fatigue properties that boost the body’s energy reserves and reduce tissue build-up during vigorous physical exertion.
Electrolyte replenishment: Do you regularly use sports drinks like Gatorade to replace lost minerals after a long exercise session? If so, consider replacing it with cold moringa tea sweetened with coconut sugar or honey. Moringa leaves have a significant concentration of electrolyte minerals such as potassium that allow the body to stay internally hydrated even during rigorous athletic activity.
Vitamin B: Athletes, yoga practitioners and gym-goers need energy derived from proteins and carbohydrates. But, the body cannot generate energy without vitamin B that is responsible for glycolysis and energy production. Moringa leaves boast a high amount of this crucial vitamin that is essential for your overall performance as an athlete.
Iron: If you are competing in a sport or practicing intense yoga, you need to be both physically and mentally alert. This is where the importance of iron comes into play. Moringa is a rich source of iron that boosts mental and physical acuity by efficiently transporting blood to the brain and other parts of the body. This will help you push past your limits and tackle physically challenging games with more ease.
Magnesium: Moringa contains high levels of magnesium which assists in energy production from glucose that ultimately fuels your workout and helps you perform better. In addition, magnesium plays a vital role in maintaining your nerve, muscle and cardiac functions as well as preventing muscle spasms. Magnesium also helps your body gain lean muscle mass.
Immune system benefits: The overall nutrient profile of moringa makes it a super immunity booster which is critical for endurance athletes. It has more vitamin A than carrots making it an amazing disease fighter that protects the body against infections and other diseases.
- Calcium: Moringa has more calcium than milk and yogurt, which we all know is important for bone health which is critical for athletes and yoga practitioners. But more importantly, calcium is also essential for endurance athletes who take part in running, cycling and triathlons as it helps the heart muscles contract and supply blood to the brain and other parts of the body efficiently and effectively.
Moringa supplements and how to use them
Moringa supplements are available in the form of powders and capsules. Here are some easy ways to use moringa powder:
- Add moringa to warm water, pour some honey and make your own delicious herbal tea
- Make some cold moringa tea and mix coconut sugar to replace sports drinks
- Blend moringa powder with your healthy morning smoothies to make them even better!
- Toss a spoonful of moringa powder in your salads, soups and stews
Moringa’s numerous benefits classify it as an essential superfood. Its positive impact on immune system efficiency as well as its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it a recommended supplement for athletes and sports enthusiasts. Even though moringa has only recently become popular in the West, it has been a proven health food source in South Asian cultures for generations. Isn’t it time to start experiencing moringa’s wonderful advantages? If you haven’t tried it already, get yourself your first pack now and you will never go back!