A team of scientists has developed a new supplement for women, consuming which can make them run faster. Researchers said in a new study that the women, who consumed the specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month, could reduce the time they had taken earlier for a 3-mile run by almost a minute.
Not only in running, the magic supplement also led to significant improvement in distance covered in 25 minutes on a stationary bike, and during a third test in which the women stepped on and off a bench. The study, conducted by researchers from the Ohio State University, was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
As part of the study, the researchers compared the performance of those who took the supplement with a control group that took a placebo.
In an initial experiment including 28 women, the researchers gave the supplement to 14 women and found that their 3-mile run times dropped from 26.5 minutes on average to 25.6 minutes. The distance the women covered in a stationary bike after taking the supplement also increased from an average of 6 miles to 6.5 miles. In the step test, the women's step count increased to almost 44 from about 40.
All of the changes, however, were not seen in the placebo group, the researchers said.
In a second follow-up experiment, in which 36 women were given a lower dose of one of the nutrients, showed a 41-second average decrease in run times. Robert DiSilvestro, lead author of the study and a professor of human nutrition at Ohio State, said that he was working towards selling the supplement that can cost between $35 and $40 for a month's supply.
To prepare the supplement, the researchers used minerals including forms of iron, copper and zinc along with two other nutrients called "carnitine" (derived from an amino acid) and "phosphatidylserine" (made up of fatty acids and amino acids).
The women who volunteered to take the supplement -- 18 to 30 years old recreational athletes -- were asked to sprinkle it into a beverage of their choice twice a day. In the second dose, the researchers delivered the combo in capsule form.
The researchers also said that the amount of nutrients in the supplements was well below a level that could cause harmful side effects.
"We know that young women, in particular, often have micro-deficiencies in nutrients and that those nutrients play a role in how cells work during exercise," DiSilvestro said in a statement. "They tend to eat less meat than men, and menstruation also plays an important role in mineral loss."