Is Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) The Best Muscle Recovery Choice? How It May Assist Performance Through Accelerated Recovery

Is Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) The Best Muscle Recovery Choice? How It May Assist Performance Through Accelerated Recovery   Whether an athlete or a newbie, you know how important muscle recovery is if you work out day in and day out. Chlorella Growth Factor, not only does it help muscles repair and strengthen between activities, … Continue reading Is Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) The Best Muscle Recovery Choice? How It May Assist Performance Through Accelerated Recovery

Is Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) The Best Muscle Recovery Choice? How It May Assist Performance Through Accelerated Recovery


Whether an athlete or a newbie, you know how important muscle recovery is if you work out day in and day out. Chlorella Growth Factor, not only does it help muscles repair and strengthen between activities, but it also prevents overtraining syndrome. As the names suggest, overtraining syndrome is a condition that causes fatigue, reduced performance, and potential injury when muscles do not recover properly after intense training (Kreher 2012). In addition, to see gains more quickly, a master workout recovery plan is as important as a master workout routine. With constant muscle soreness, your chances of hitting back to the gym or the training program get lower, and with it, your dream of achieving your ideal fitness.


Adding a dietary supplement to your routine is the best way to speed up muscle recovery and remain consistent. And what better supplement to do the job than chlorella growth factor, the well-known algae with myriads of health benefits, including boosting muscle recovery (Panahi 2016). Chlorella is a superfood loaded with many essential nutrients, such as B-complex vitamins, proteins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids, the remarkable ability of chlorella to assist with performance and muscle recovery might have to do with its unique growth factor, known as the Chlorella Growth Factor (Ng 2020).


So, What Is Chlorella Growth Factor?

Primarily found in very nutrient-rich waters, chlorella has been seen as a nutritionally dense protein-rich food source however, over the last 20 or so years, numerous studies have led to a significant reassessment of chlorella as a superfood containing exceptional health benefits for everyone, from children to adults and athletes to newbie health and fitness enthusiasts alike (Borowitzka 2018). The Chlorella Growth Factor found in the nucleus of the chlorella cells allows chlorella to grow at an extraordinary rate. Researchers have long known that chlorella has one of the shortest doubling times (time required to divide or double in size) of any unicellular organism (Sorokin 1959).



In recent years, many researchers and companies have sought to exploit the same qualities for human benefit. A large body of evidence now suggests that chlorella serves as an excellent detox, strengthens brain function, boosts immunity, and helps with high cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels (Bito 2020). However, the good news is, according to contemporary evidence, chlorella can prove very beneficial for muscle growth, repair, and recovery after intense exercise (Yu 2022). Here we present the recent advances in science about the benefits of chlorella on muscle health and healing.


How May CGF Assist With Performance Through Muscle Recovery?

Exercise-induced muscle damage remains a common phenomenon for most people. It leads to muscle damage and inflammation, resulting in muscle aches, soreness, and stiffness (Peake 2017). Muscle pain is especially common if you start a new exercise your body is not accustomed to or go too hard with the one it does. Regardless of the cause, your muscles need recovery between exercise sessions if you want to return to the gym or the track. And chlorella supplementation might do the job for you. Here are some of the ways CGF may assist with performance through enhanced muscle recovery and growth.


  1. Chlorella Speeds Up Muscle Recovery Between Training Sessions

Waking up in the morning and finding aching and sore muscles is not anybody’s cup of tea but it is inevitable, especially if your main focus is muscle building and improving your physique through vigorous exercise. Research suggests that the soreness following a session of intense exercise occurs due to structural damage to myofibers (muscle fibers) and secondary inflammation resulting from the infiltration of white blood cells into the damaged tissues (Harty 2019). Furthermore, the oxidative stress is significantly increased in a muscle in the post-exercise period, overwhelming the antioxidant system of the body (Jamurtas 2018).


Plenty of evidence suggests that chlorella is a powerful antioxidant superfood, loaded with many antioxidant nutrients (Sikiru 2019Panahi 2013). For example, a 2007 lab study showed that chlorella vulgaris extract exerts its chemo-preventive (detoxification) effects by modulating the antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation (Vijayavel 2007). A 2010 study published in the Journal Nutrition involved fifty-two participants who received 6.3g of Chlorella or a placebo every day for six weeks. At the end of the study, researchers found a significant increase in the plasma levels of vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), and erythrocyte catalase and superoxide dismutase activities (two critical antioxidant enzymes) (Lee 2010). Likewise, in a 2018 study involving 27 healthy males, the researchers showed that chlorella ingestion might enhance tolerance for fatigue under resting conditions by relieving oxidative stress (Okada 2018).


Besides relieving oxidative stress (the primary reason for pain and soreness due to inflammation), chlorella also works through other means to speed up healing. For example, a study published in the Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity revealed that chlorella intake improves the regenerative capacity of young and senescent myoblasts (muscle cells) and promotes myoblast differentiation, indicating a possible role of chlorella in promoting muscle repair and regeneration (Azlan 2019). Another research from the same authors found that chlorella supplementation regulates myogenic regulatory factors during muscle cell growth and differentiation by modulating the expression of genes and muscle specific microRNAs (Azlan 2019). Likewise, a 2022 Chinese study suggests that chlorella intake effectively improves body color, alleviates muscle inflammation, inhibits apoptosis of muscle cells, and enhances muscle function (Yu 2022).


  1. Chlorella Boosts Endurance Capacity

Besides decreasing inflammation and speeding up muscle recovery, chlorella also increases endurance capacity, the ability to withstand physical activity for the longest time possible. For example, in a 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, Japanese researchers aimed to assess the effects of chlorella intake on peak oxygen uptake (a measure of aerobic endurance) in a group of ten young participants. The researchers allocated 15 chlorella tablets, or the placebo, twice a day for four weeks and found that the participants taking chlorella tablets experienced a significantly increased peak oxygen uptake compared to the placebo group (Umemoto 2014).


Similarly, in another study involving 34 volunteers, the researchers divided the participants into two groups, the study group and the control. The researchers took the baseline measures of maximal oxygen consumption during intense cycling to exhaustion in both groups. The study group received 30 chlorella tablets daily (15 tablets twice daily) while the control group placebo. After four weeks, the authors of the study found that the chlorella group saw a significant increase in maximal oxygen uptake during incremental cycling to exhaustion (Miyaki 2017). Furthermore, a 2018 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that chlorella supplementation increases resting salivary IgA antibodies, which, the authors believe, might prove beneficial during periods of intensified training (Chidley 2018).


To add more, in a recent research paper, researchers described many mechanisms by which chlorella might enhance aerobic endurance and help increase the duration of intense training. For example, the high protein content of chlorella and net protein utilization by the body, vasodilatory effects due to enhanced nitric oxide production, omega-three fats, and carotenoid antioxidants, along with high iron and arginine (an essential amino acid), have been implicated as critical ways that may play roles in producing the desired outcome, i.e., boosting endurance capacity (Gurney 2022).


  1. Chlorella Prevents Muscle Atrophy

Research suggests that long-term chlorella ingestion has the potential to prevent muscle atrophy, including age-related muscle loss. Muscle atrophy is a common concern for many people, especially those who work hard to build their muscles. And here, too, chlorella may offer significant benefits. For example, in a 2014 study, a group of Japanese researchers used a mouse model of enhanced oxidative stress to investigate whether chlorella could prevent muscle atrophy. After six months of chlorella supplementation, the researchers found that chlorella fed mice exhibited significantly reduced markers of oxidative stress (inflammation) and muscle atrophy (Nakashima 2014). Similarly, a 2020 study found that chlorella ingestion leads to improved muscle function in both young and old mice, primarily due to increased regeneration and decreased degeneration (Azlan 2020).


To add more, chlorella is rich in many nutrients essential for the prevention of muscle atrophy and muscle growth. For example, a diet consisting of foods containing protein and amino acids is an excellent way to prevent muscle loss, whether physiological, age-related, hereditary, or due to a medical condition (Marshal 2020). And chlorella, being a superfood, is one of the best sources of proteins and amino acids you could find. Research suggests that the protein content of chlorella is more than 60 percent of its dry weight (Canelli 2020). Likewise, a mutation in the gene for the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) enzyme promotes skeletal muscle atrophy in mice via the accumulation of oxidative stress, which can be effectively rescued by oral administration of the antioxidant Vitamin E (Kobayashi 2021). Vitamin E, also like proteins, is abundantly found in chlorella.


Furthermore, malnutrition, such as vitamin D and vitamin C deficiency, is a well-known risk factor for muscle atrophy (Bhat 2013Takisawa 2019). And you can trust chlorella to fill almost all the gaps left in a typical diet, including covering for vitamin D or C deficiency (Bito 2020). However, more research is needed to study the direct effects of chlorella supplementation on muscle atrophy.


  1. Chlorella Increases The Fuel For Muscles

While chlorella increases the nutritional profile of many nutrients that boost energy and provide the fuel necessary to run the body, including muscles, it boosts energy in many other ways as well. For example, a 2006 lab study found that chlorella promotes glucose uptake by the liver and muscle cells, increasing muscle function and glycogen synthesis (a fuel source for muscles)(Cherng 2006). Likewise, another study revealed that chlorella supplementation for 14 days led to a two-fold longer swimming time in the study mice compared to the control mice. The researchers also found significantly higher measurements of free fatty acids, glucose, triglycerides, and lactic acid in the blood of Chlorella intake mice than in control (Mizoguchi 2011).


Furthermore, a 2017 study showed that chlorella intake combined with high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) accelerates exercise performance by increasing muscle glycolytic activity (a process that generates energy in the form of ATPs by splitting glucose) and oxidative capacity in laboratory mice (Horii 2017). Similarly, according to a recent report published in the Journal Scientific Reports, chlorella, along with carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZyme) supplementation, increases energy metabolism, enzymatic activity, and the abundance of contractile apparatus (myosin proteins), demonstrating an increased nutrient availability, including glucose, in the muscle cells (Coelho 2022).



The Takeaway

In recent decades, the green microalgae Chlorella has gained wide recognition for being a superfood and a fix-all supplement. Besides improving many indicators of health like reducing cholesterol, improving glucose levels, boosting immunity, and preventing mental decline, it may also help reduce muscle pain and soreness and boost muscle recovery following a session of intense training.



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