If you are a fitness geek, you must have heard about Spirulina.
This little green-blue alga is rich in proteins and antioxidants. So much so that Spirulina is often used in nutritional supplements. It is considered by many nutritionists as the ultimate source of concentrated proteins and vitamins.
Though it is a sought-after dietary supplement for sportsmen, bodybuilders, and athletes, as with any supplement it is important to be aware of the possible unwanted effects of taking spirulina, especially in high doses.
It is also always advisable to speak to your doctor before taking any course of supplement, particularly if on medication or if pregnant.
Here are some known benefits and drawbacks of using spirulina:
Benefits of Adding Spirulina to Your Diet
This little alga is a complete source nutrition. Even if you are not keen on taking other food supplements, the Spirulina alone can to provide you a comprehensive nutritional profile. It is rich in vitamin B-complex, vitamin E, zinc, copper, beta-carotene, selenium, fatty acids, and iron.
Even more important is that Spirulina contains approximately 65% protein by weight. For this reason, researchers call Spirulina a complete food supplement that contains properties similar to multivitamins.
As such, taking spirulina can help you to get your full quota of vitamins and minerals regularly.
How can you take spirulina?
You can take Spirulina in a variety of ways, but the easiest is to wash down either tablets or capsules of Spirulina with some cold water.
If you’re going to consume Spirulina, do not heat or cook it, as this removes the nutritional value.
This includes taking it with or before a hot beverage.
Make sure you drink at least an extra half litre of water, as you may become constipated otherwise.
Potential side effects
Before you start consuming spirulina, your nutritionist will likely tell you about its pros and cons.
For instance, because it is an alga, there is always the possibility that it can be contaminated with heavy metals, which can be toxic.
Spirulina itself doesn’t produce any toxins, other algae that it grows with may contain harmful toxins in sufficient quantities.
That’s why it’s so important to pay close attention to where and how the spirulina is grown and harvested.
You may experience some side-effects over the first few days, such as minor breakouts of irritated skin, fatigue or slight fever, as your body rids itself of accumulated toxins.
To reduce the risk of purchasing Spirulina that has been contaminated, it’s important to always buy it from an organic certified brand such as Superfood World that's third party tested, which means it should be verified not to contain any contaminants and toxins.
As Spirulina is great at removing toxins from your body you could experience some temporary detox side effects which could last a few days. It is important to remember that with anything, your body needs time to adjust. If symptoms persist reduce dosage or discontinue use.
Since your metabolism can be boosted after taking Spirulina, there is a potential that you may experience symptoms of slight fever as your body temperature increases slightly.
Sleepiness or Fatigue
Again, this is only temporary. You may experience this as a result of your colon being cleansed. . These symptoms if present normally surpass quickly, but if they do not, it is advised that you stop taking the product. If you wish to continue, it is advised to consult your doctor. Experiment with small doses at first to ensure your body gets accustomed to the change. Gradually up the dosage as time progresses
Itching skin, rashes and breakouts
Another symptom of spirulina's colon cleansing ability is that as the toxins are removed, they can cause problems on the skin surface, leading to breakouts, rashes, redness and mild itching. These are only temporary, as a result of your colon being flushed of toxins and waste. In the long run, taking Spirulina can clear your skin.
Green Coloured Waste
Spirulina helps flush out any waste that may have accumulated in your colon, meaning it could turn your waste green. Furthermore, your waste may have a slight greenish hue, due to the chlorophyl concentration.