Colostrum: What it is and the Benefits it Offers Athletes
Colostrum, or “milk of life” in Latin, is the first milk that mammals produce immediately after giving birth. Five or six hours after the delivery, it gradually changes into regular breast milk.
First and foremost, this milk ensures that the newborn’s immune system and growth continue on the right path. The liquid is packed with proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. It’s essential for the baby’s health. These days, however, it’s become a very popular supplement for athletes.
These supplements generally originate from bovine, or cow, sources. In our post today, we’re going to explain key aspects to have a better understanding of colostrum. We’ll also look at what benefits it offers for athletes.
Colostrum and its benefits
Colostrum is a type of milk that mammals, including humans, produce in their mammary glands. It contains a considerable amount of nutrients, proteins, and vitamins. The milky fluid also has a high concentration of antibodies, which fight off bacteria and viruses.
What’s also really interesting is the boost it offers for immune systems. The fluid stimulates and develops them to help target and fight against bad cells.
The milk-like substance offers many immune aids. These include immunoglobulins, lactoferrins, interferons, and cytokines, which secure a sound defense system for the body. All of these factors contribute to a healthy body.
However, colostrum also has other important properties and benefits for the body. The proteins found in the substance, for example, help develop healthy gut flora. These proteins also provide essential nutrients for developing muscle tissue.
Finding colostrum supplements
The colostrum used in supplements is a 100% natural product. As a result, it has zero negative side-effects.
Manufacturers usually use bovine colostrum for their products. However, it can be extracted from cows, sheep or pigs only hours after giving birth. Bovine colostrum boasts higher immune benefits than human colostrum.
However, the animals that manufacturers use to extract colostrum from, must be fed from natural sources. Animals fed on a dry or chemical diet are not used for colostrum supplements. Likewise, animals undergoing antibiotic or hormonal treatments are also excluded.
On top of animal regulations, strict health controls ensure that the product is safe for human consumption. Thanks to all of these steps, colostrum is a safe supplement for athletes.
Fighting against certain diseases
Colostrum can prevent and help fight against many bacterial infections, such as flu and gastrointestinal illnesses. Some examples include the leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
It’s also very helpful for treating diabetes, autoimmune disorders and for strengthening the body’s defenses in general.
Supplement for building and repairing muscles
These nutritional supplements are popular among athletes. Along with all of the benefits we already mentioned, they also offer multiple growth benefits.
These factors come into play on a cellular level and help muscle tissue grow. They also stimulate growth in muscle mass, bones, connective tissue, and skin.
Athletes who take colostrum supplements increase in strength and physical endurance. They’ll also notice a shorter recuperation time in between sessions, improved lean muscle mass synthesis, and reduction in body fat.
On top of all of this, athletes will tell you that their favorite benefit is the faster healing time for injuries, which in turn means faster recovery. The growth factors that colostrum boasts help the body repair, regenerate and stimulate growth in muscles, skin and nervous tissue.
This all explains why bovine colostrum is considered a star supplement in the sports world. Aside from improving athletic performance, it offers huge benefits for injuries and recovery. Colostrum supplements come in powder and pill form. We especially recommend the powder.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Essens World. Qué es el calostro. Extraído de: http://static.essensworld.com/public/colostrum-catalogue-es.pdf
- Fernando Naclerio Ayllon. 2008. La nutrición en la salud de los deportistas. Extraído de: http://www.munideporte.com/imagenes/documentacion/ficheros/20090225135853suplementos_nacleiro_2009.pdf
- Composición química de la leche materna. 2003. Extraído de: http://www.unizar.es/med_naturista/lactancia%203/Composicion%20eche%20materna,.pdf