Moringa powder is a food supplement ideal after a workout. It fights fatigue and speeds up recovery. Firstly, it’s high in protein and contains balanced levels of essential amino acids. Moreover, moringa powder is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, lutein, and many other antioxidants.
Moringa powder is rich in protein
Moringa powder is about 30% protein (1,2). Hence, athletes could use moringa powder in protein smoothies. Moringa is a high-quality and easily-digested plant-based protein. It’s particularly beneficial for vegan athletes.
Moringa powder contains all 9 essential amino acids
Furthermore, moringa powder contains 19 amino acids. Most noteworthy, it contains all essential amino acids. It’s a complete plant-based protein.
Furthermore, moringa powder is a great dietary source of the 3 essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine which are called BCAAs. The BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis. Vegan athletes can benefit the most from taking moringa supplements.
Analytically, the amino profile of moringa powder is (1):
|Essential animo acids||Quantity (%)||Other amino acid||Quantity (%)|
Moreover, all parts of moringa are high in protein. Besides moringa leaves, moringa seeds are also rich in protein. Moringa seed flour is about 19% protein, it’s easily digested, and also contains all 9 essential amino acids (3).
Additionally, another vegan source of complete protein is maca powder.
Moringa powder is high in vitamin E
Furthermore, moringa powder is high in vitamin E. 100g of moringa powder contains 77-155 mg of vitamin E (1,4). Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with powerful antioxidant properties. We need at least 15 mg of vitamin E per day (5). So, a tbsp of moringa powder provides up to 72% DV (Daily Value).
Vitamin E is important for the proper function of the immune system, cell signaling, and many metabolic processes.
Furthermore, vitamin E is good for athletes, as it may help muscles recover faster. On the contrary, vitamin E deficiency will impair athletic performance (6).
Other foods that are good sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils, sunflower seeds (26.1 mg per 100g), almonds (23.5 mg), hazelnuts (15 mg), peanuts (8.3 mg), spinach (2 mg), broccoli (0.78 mg), and kiwi (1.46 mg) (6).
It’s a good plant-based source of calcium
Additionally, moringa powder is pretty rich in calcium. Analytically, moringa powder is up to 3.65% calcium (1).
Moringa powder contains about 2100-2700 mg of calcium per 100 gr. That’s more than 200% DV (Daily Value). A tbsp of moringa powder provides up to 18% DV of calcium.
Just for comparison, 100g of cow’s milk contains only 113 mg of calcium. Even a glass of cow’s milk contains only 280 mg of calcium. So, why not prefer plant-based sources of calcium? Cow’s milk is high in calories, hormones, cholesterol, and fats. Better avoid it.
According to the National Institutes of Health, most people need about 1000-1300 mg of calcium daily.
Is calcium intake necessary for athletes?
99% of calcium is stored in bones and teeth. Only 1% of calcium is stored in muscles. But, this 1% is so important, as it’s involved in many physiologic processes, energy metabolism and muscle contraction (7).
But, calcium and iron deficiency are particularly common among athletes. Exercise may increase calcium losses. Research showed that endurance training or high-intensity training can decrease calcium stores.
So, it may be good for you to increase calcium intake. Especially if you’re a female athlete. Eat foods high in calcium along with a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D and vitamin C improve calcium absorption (8).
Moringa powder is rich in iron
Furthermore, moringa powder is a good plant-based source of iron. It contains about 49 mg of iron per 100 gr (1,2).
Men need about 8 mg of iron per day. On the other hand, women need much more. Women need about 18 mg of iron daily. A tablespoon of moringa powder can provide about 3.4 mg of iron. That’s 40% DV for men or 19% DV for women.
Only a tbsp of moringa powder can skyrocket your daily iron intake…
Iron is a component of many enzymes in the muscle cells. Moreover, iron is involved in the transport and metabolism of oxygen for aerobic energy production, especially during endurance exercise.
Did you know that spinach, lettuce, beetroots, and arugula can help the body supply blood and oxygen more effectively to muscles? Thus, improving max muscle power and endurance.
It’s a good source of vitamin C
Moringa is rich in vitamin C, as well. The vitamin C content of moringa powder is 270-870 mg of vitamin C per 100g.
The vitamin C content depends on many parameters, such as the processing method (10). Certainly, moringa powder is one of the richest foods in vitamin C.
Just a tbsp of moringa powder contains up to 60 mg of vitamin C. That’s 67% DV (Daily Value). The daily recommended vitamin C intake is only 90 mg.
Vitamin C is required for the metabolism of protein and synthesis of collagen. Moreover, it’s a key component of connective tissue.
Furthermore, vitamin C neutralizes free radicals, due to its antioxidant activity. High amounts of free radicals delay muscle recovery. Therefore, athletes should consume foods containing vitamin C throughout the day!
Finally, vitamin C increases iron and calcium absorption.
Moringa powder is good for your joints
Moringa powder is good for collagen synthesis, as it contains amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, and iron. They’re necessary for collagen synthesis. Collagen is important for the connective and soft tissue.
Moringa speeds up muscle recovery
Intense exercise can be harmful for the body. Due to the production of free radicals. We need to consume foods high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C & E, in order, to neutralize free radicals.
Moringa powder is pretty high in antioxidants. It’s rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, phytosterols, polyphenols, phenolic acids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, alkaloids, and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Another supplement high in antioxidants is amla powder. Amla powder is the richest food in antioxidants. It can speed up muscle recovery. Just for comparison, the antioxidant content of amla powder is 261.5 mmol per 100g (10). The antioxidant content of moringa powder is about 11.9 mmol per 100g.
For instance, most common plants have a lower antioxidant content: plums (3.2 mmol), kale (2.8 mmol), strawberries (2,1 mmol), pomegranate (1.8 mmol), oranges (0.9 mmol), papaya (0.6 mmol). On the other hand, animal sources almost haven’t any antioxidant content: chicken (0-1 mmol per 100g), milk and dairy (0-0.78 mmol), fish (0.03-0.65 mmol), and eggs (0-0.16 mmol).
Can Moringa help you lose weight & reduce fat?
Moringa powder is good for losing weight. Certainly, it’s one of the most nutrient-dense food supplements. Moringa powder is about 30% protein and 25% dietary fiber. Foods high in water, protein, and fiber are the most-filling ones!
Moreover, adequate amounts of fiber, along with calorie restriction, are good for weight loss (11).
Also, moringa powder is good for weight loss, as it’s particularly rich in calcium and iron. Hence, moringa gives you energy and burn more calories!
How much Moringa powder should I take?
Moringa is considered a safe supplement. No side effects have been reported (12). Most people consume a tsp of moringa powder a day. If you’re an athlete, you can consume more. Add a tsp of moringa powder in your post-workout smoothie.
Other foods that are good for muscle growth & recovery
Above all, try to consume lots of foods high in antioxidants. Especially after an intense workout (13). Vegetables and fruits are good sources.
Additionally, omega-3s are necessary for weight loss, and muscle growth. Unfortunately, there are only a few foods high in omega-3s. Seafood, algae, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are the best dietary sources.
Black and green tea can speed up muscle recovery, as it’s rich in theaflavins. Theaflavins in black tea extract have been linked to improved recovery and reduction in oxidative stress. Especially after anaerobic exercise. Furthermore, green tea seems to help heal muscle damage (14).
In addition, 500 mL of pomegranate juice can reduce muscle soreness after intensive exercise.
Last, but not least, if you’re an athlete you should eat pineapple regularly, as it’s the only known source of bromelain. Bromelain can reduce soft tissue swelling and joint stiffness. More here.