Protein is an essential nutrient for muscle growth and recovery. We all know that. Many of us also know that protein is made up of a variety of amino acids. Many foods that are promoted as being healthy due to their amino content may only contain a few of the aminos, making them an incomplete protein. Sure you can mix different foods together, like with nuts, if you have almonds, brazil and cashews together, they combine to cover all the aminos. But who can be bothered studying which foods contains which aminos to get the full spectrum?
Why not use a food that contains all 22 aminos, including the 8 essentials that have been used in some communities for centuries. A food that also contains up to 5000 different enzymes and has been used by athletes in the past to improve strength and endurance. Sounds pretty good huh?
The food is bee pollen. Pollen is one of the few foods in this world I refer to as a super food. It can actually support life as a food on its own and does just that for bees. Only problem being that the quantity required would be huge if you were to rely on it as a single food source. To get just one teaspoon of pollen, a honey bee would have to work for 240 hours to gather it. But as a supplement, it is perfect.
In Chinese medicine it has been used as a tonic to boost energy, while other cultures have used it for purposes as varied as an aid in longevity, medicine for chronic illness and aiding recovery, helping the gastro intestinal system function, as an anti biotic with the cold and flue, helping children with developmental problems. It is even thought to have anti cancer properties. Although some of this is anecdotal, the list of its benefits are huge. Although for athletes, the fact it can be used for improving endurance is a big one.
There are a number of factors that have been studied more thoroughly which include its effect on cholesterol levels. People who have taken it have experienced an increase in the HDL cholesterol with a decrease in their LDL and Triglycerides. Even though I’m not a big believer in the cholesterol/heart disease theory, this is still a very positive thing.
It has been shown to be of benefit with anemic patients as it increases their red and white blood cells. More red blood cells mean more oxygen carrying capabilities. Just like some performance enhancing drugs…!
There have been many stories over the years from athletes and coaches in relation to performance and bee pollen. Antii Lananaki, coach of the Finnish Track Team made this comment after his athletes won 8 medals at the 1972 Olympics – “Most of our athletes take pollen supplements. It significantly improves their performance. There have been no negative results since we have been supplying pollen to our athletes.”
The positive effects of pollen have been known for many years now. Even renowned German naturalist Francis Huber (1750-1831) called bee pollen “The Greatest Body Builder on Earth”.
Dr. Peter Hernuss from the university of Vienna did a study on 25 women with uterine cancer. They were all treated with chemotherapy and some were given bee pollen with their food. The women on the bee pollen showed less negative reactions to the chemo and also had more cancer fighting immune cells, better cancer antibody production and of course, higher red blood cell count.
When you look at the nutrient profile of bee pollen compared to any other animal food, it wins hands down in its protein levels (40% amino/protein content), vitamin B levels and many other vitamins and minerals. This stuff is the real deal.
I would suggest if you want a real boost in your performance, get your hands on some bee pollen, and see what it can do for you.