Red Spinach Extract: The Ultimate Spinach Supplement
Over the past few years, beet supplements have gained a ton of notoriety as they hit the market. Beet root supplements can help with nitric oxide production, possible positive heart benefits, and can be added in your pre workout regimen to aid in a pump for those who want to body-build. This article isn't about whether beet root extract works, but is it the most potent for what's available? That's where red spinach extract and spinach supplements come in. They are indeed more potent, cost effective and easily found.
Of course one way to get the benefits of spinach is to eat spinach, but often
times the effects of spinach extract are more easily had through a spinach powder or capsule. We will get into the health benefits of red spinach extract shortly as for now we're going to discuss the performance benefits. A study done on cyclists supplementing with 1g of red spinach extract for 7 days and 1 hour prior to performance showed some great increases in athletic performance (1). Compared to the placebo group, the spinach supplementation group had lower blood pressure post exercise, improved completion time, increased average power, and increased average speed (1). The study also showed that women were more sensitive to the supplementation, showing them more responsive to it than men. For endurance athletes with another test, red spinach extract supplementation was shown to increase V02 max at the ventilatory threshold by a significant amount over the placebo group (2).
For bodybuilders, red spinach extract may be the perfect supplement. Studies show that it increases plasma nitrate levels 30 minutes after ingestion, which is ideal for a pre workout pump supplement (3). These positive results were shown without increases in heart beat or blood pressure, which makes it safer to use (3).
As with using most products for the first time, it's always best if you take a singular ingredient by itself to see what it does for your body. If you enjoy the performance, blood flow, or pump benefits of the product, at that point you can add in other supplements to properly complement it. Leafy greens aren't the only way to get a high concentration of spinach into the body and although eating fresh spinach may help reduce cravings and have positive effects on blood sugar levels, it won't have the same affect as a concentrated extract.
Red spinach extract is also being studied for anti cancer effects as well, but the finalized studies have not been published yet. Whether you're looking for higher daily nitrate levels for health, or for an unforgettable pump in the gym, it's time to look at red spinach extract!
(1) Gonzalez AM, Accetta MR, Spitz RW, Mangine GT, Ghigiarelli JJ, Sell KM. Red Spinach Extract Supplementation Improves Cycle Time Trial Performance in Recreationally Active Men and Women. J Strength Cond Res. 2019 May 24. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003173. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31136549.
(2) Moore AN, Haun CT, Kephart WC, Holland AM, Mobley CB, Pascoe DD, Roberts MD, Martin JS. Red Spinach Extract Increases Ventilatory Threshold during Graded Exercise Testing. Sports (Basel). 2017 Oct 16;5(4):80. doi: 10.3390/sports5040080. PMID: 29910440; PMCID: PMC5969023.
(3) Haun CT, Kephart WC, Holland AM, Mobley CB, McCloskey AE, Shake JJ, Pascoe DD, Roberts MD, Martin JS. Differential vascular reactivity responses acutely following ingestion of a nitrate rich red spinach extract. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016 Dec;116(11-12):2267-2279. doi: 10.1007/s00421-016-3478-8. Epub 2016 Sep 30. PMID: 27695978.