Spinach – The New Performance-Enhancing Drug?

Rasbak [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This one might top the charts for ridiculousness.

Scientists in Germany are beginning to think that athletes should be banned from eating spinach…and that it belongs on the list of doping supplements.

That’s right. Apparently Popeye was right all along, and spinach can help increase your strength. In their study, scientists had some athletes eat up to nine pounds of spinach per day and there was a control group that did not consume spinach. The athletes who ate the spinach ended up increasing their strength up to three times more than those who didn’t.

It turns out that there is a chemical called ecdysterone in Spinach, and that chemical is close enough to steroids that it appears to be having the same effect.

Maria Parr, one of the scientists involved in the study said, “We recommended to WADA in our report that the substance be added to the doping list. We think that if it increases performance, then that unfair advantage should be eliminated.”

So, eating a healthy food, that is actually good for you, could soon become a problem for athletes. Makes sense.

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