How Astaxanthin Can Increase Endurance

on Nov 04, 2022
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Astaxanthin

by Art Solbrig

How Astaxanthin Can Increase Endurance and Reduce Elapsed Time (ET) for Fast Walking, Jogging, Running, and Exercise of Most Types

One of my recent experiments was to test a common supplement called Astaxanthin ("AST"). Astaxanthin is a natural, red-pigmented ketocarotenoid (or plant color) found in some types of yeast and microalgae. I only knew of AST as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory via inhibition of the inflammatory mediator Nf kappa B. I had no expectations of what it might do for me, but I wanted to see what, if anything, it might do.

I bought the highest dose version I could find, 24 mg, which also claimed to be a liposomal formulation.

I took double the suggested dose of 24 mg for a total of 48 mg/day of AST. One soft gel with breakfast and one soft gel with dinner. I didn't notice anything for two weeks, but around the two week mark, I noticed that my morning two-mile brisk walk elapsed time had decreased, which was very unusual.

To give some context, I do a morning very brisk walk and my elapsed time varies between 27 to 30 minutes, with most days being between 27.5 and 28 minutes elapsed time ("ET") and usually closer to the 28-minute mark.

My very best ET ever was 26.75 minutes over a year ago and I have never been able to beat that ET since, no matter how hard I tried. After two weeks of taking AST twice a day at 24 mg each time, my ETs were staying very close to 27 minutes.

After 3 weeks of taking AST, I hit below 27 minutes and by the end of the third week, I hit a new best ET of 26.5 minutes! I was pretty excited about that. Previously when I would walk, I would feel tightness in my calves when I was pushing near my limit as far as walking speed and if I didn't slow down, my calves would start to cramp unless I put mag oil on them before going for my walk. I stopped having to apply magnesium oil before a walk, which was great.

By the fourth week, I was able to bring my ET down to below 26 minutes and could hit in the low 25s. I don't think I could have done this even when I was much younger, so I was really impressed with these results. I still feel the tightness in my calves as I am pushing new limits for me, but I never get cramps now.

All of this is great news to me, but even better, by the fifth week, I broke below 25 minutes and hit a new low ET of 24:45! It would be an understatement to say I am impressed with AST!

Research Studies

I started thinking if this is really real and not just a placebo effect, there must be some science to support this use for AST, so I started reading and a week or two ago this new study just came out about the use of AST in the elderly:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9603106/

Here is an important quote from this study :

The main finding of the current study was that taking an astaxanthin supplement for 16 weeks increased walking endurance while also reducing oxidative stress in the elderly living in a nursing home. 

The age group in this study was 67 to 94 and my thinking is if AST can do as much as it did in this study to improve walking ET, I think it should be able to do as much or more for a younger age group. Another consideration is that I took double the dose that was used in the above study and my results were apparent at 5 weeks as opposed to the 16 weeks allocated in the study.

With a little more reading, I was able to find another interesting study about AST involving improved results from endurance training due to AST:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8191397/

Here is an interesting quote from the study:

Results: ET(Endurance Training) led to improved specific muscle endurance only in the AX group (Pre 353 ± 26 vs. Post 472 ± 41 contractions), and submaximal GXT duration improved in both groups (PL 40.8 ± 9.1% and AX 41.1 ± 6.3%). 

So in this study, AST was shown to improve upon the effect of endurance training in the elderly, something that AST has also shown in young athletes as described in the following study :

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21984399/

Here is a relevant quote from the study:

The AST group significantly increased power output (20 W; 95% CI, 1, 38), while the PLA group did not (1.6 W; 95% CI, -17, 20). The mechanism of action for these improvements remains unclear, as we observed no treatment effects for carbohydrate and fat oxidation or blood indices indicative of fuel mobilization. While AST significantly improved TT performance the mechanism of action explaining this effect remains obscure. 

Where to Buy

The product I used:

Liposomal Astaxanthin Supplement 24MG, Maximum Absorption, Antioxidant Stronger Than VIT C - Supports Immune System, Healthy Skin, Eye &Joint Health - 60 Softgels (2 Months Supply)

Link to the product

https://amzn.to/3fAjJHv

Although I bought more to give a fair test of AST, I started to see benefits with the first bottle. AST was the only supplement I added during the five-week test period. The double dose I used may be a factor in my impressive results, but the study using the 24 mg dose still had excellent benefits.

I plan to reduce my dose to the label-recommended dose of 24 mg or one soft gel daily. The double amount I used was intended to speed up the effects of AST, but I have no way of knowing whether it did.

Summary

So although the methods of action have yet to be fully elucidated, Astaxanthin appears to improve endurance, exercise performance, and muscle strength.

If you are currently in any type of exercise plan or are considering starting a new exercise plan, jogging, fast walking, running, or doing any type of aerobics, AST seems worthy of your consideration in that plan to increase your total benefits for your efforts!

Another important consideration with AST is that I am only discussing one specific health benefit of AST in this article.

Regarding dosing, I can not recommend the dose I used to anyone because I am not a doctor, and the 48 mg/day I used has never been tested. I used that dose at my own risk, but even the 24 mg study showed significant improvement in the participants.


Got a question or feedback about this article for Art? Click here.


About The Author

Art Solbrig is a researcher who has been reading scientific studies and testing natural remedies for over 30 years, searching for useful studies and alternatives that apply positively to human health issues and natural treatments using minerals, vitamins, amino acids, essential oils, herbs, homeopathy, colloidal silver, combination treatments, and other alternatives to improve the quality of life of others by writing about his findings and test results in places like Earth Clinic. He documents and writes about many of his experiences in helping others. Art is a native of sunny California.



Article Reviews

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
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Posted by Carmel (Essex, UK) on 11/05/2022
5 out of 5 stars

I am a 65 year old woman with hormone imbalance problems that cause fatigue, lack of energy etc regularly. I bought astaxanthin and will now take 2 x 24 mg a day and see how I go. Thank you for your article. It's knowledgeable and gives one hope. But no good asking a doctor for advice on these things, none of the doctors in the UK have a clue about nutrition/diet/supplements/vitamins etc. We find out far more, quicker and free of charge online.

Replied by Art
(California)
11/05/2022
1452 posts

You're very welcome, Carmel!

Just a reminder, I can not recommend that 48 mg dose because I am not a doctor and there are no studies to support that dose in humans that I am aware of. I used that dose at my own risk. The study in the elderly used just 24 mg/day of Astaxanthin to very good effect, so that dose should be enough, but I did not see that study before I started my test, I saw it at the end of my test, otherwise I probably would have gone with the 24 mg dose.

In the first study they determined that the elderly participants were able to increase the distance they walked in 6 minutes which is similar to what I found myself. In thinking about it, it may have slightly improved my stability when walking because some days, prior to Astaxanthin, I felt a slight instability and after Astaxanthin, that was less noticeable, but that may be down to increased muscle strength?

Please keep us updated on your results after 5 weeks of Astaxanthin!

Art

Replied by Art
(California)
11/05/2022
1452 posts

Carmel,

I forgot to mention in my reply, that I do not have fatigue so I can not comment on that aspect of Astaxanthin, but I did find an article that referenced a study suggesting that it is helpful in relieving daily mental and physical fatigue :

https://www.nutraingredients-asia.com/Article/2016/11/07/New-study-shows-astaxanthin-is-effective-against-daily-mental-and-physical-fatigue

I also found this study suggesting benefit for fatigue :

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872699/#:~:text=Several studies have tested the, and physical causes [17]

Here is a relevant study quote :

' Hongo et al., reported that astaxanthin reduced daily fatigue stemming from mental and physical causes [17].'

Art

Replied by ChristineTucci
(Manahawkin, NJ)
11/06/2022

Do you think this would relieve the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis and joint pain and possibly plantar fasciitis?

Christine

Art
(California)
11/06/2022
1452 posts

ChristineTucci,

Although Astaxanthin has recently shown benefit for arthritis due to its antioxidative stress and anti inflammatory activities, I do not believe it is a top tier remedy for arthritis and you are likely to find better remedies for that specific purpose.

I think the most effective remedy reported for arthritis on Earth Clinic is Borax, the laundry additive sold in the laundry detergent aisle in markets across the US.

I am a true believer in Borax because it has kept my arthritis in remission for way over a decade now, as in no arthritic pain. You should read EC's page on Borax, I think you will find it interesting! Here is a link to it :

https://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/borax.html

Further, here is a link to EC's Arthritis page so you can see what remedies work best for arthritis :

https://www.earthclinic.com/cures/arthritis.html

Regarding your Plantar Fasciitis, you should also refer to PF remedies on EC which can be found here :

https://www.earthclinic.com/cures/plantar-fasciitis-treatment-alternative-medicine.html

My personal experience is that a combination of remedies is usually the fastest approach for PF.

Good luck!

Art


Article Reviews
Posted by Frances (Cabarlah, Qld.) on 11/05/2022

I started taking astaxanthin for eye issues which could lead to blindness. Apparently there is astaxanthin in krill oil supplements, but, I am allergic to shell fish.