5 Ways Shilajit Boosts Athletic Performance

Updated: Jul 4

Five ways shilajit can make you faster, stronger and leaner.

Why do we watch sporting events like the Olympics, the World Cup, the Six Nations, Tour de France and the UFC? To support our favourite athletes, and teams? Maybe, but what about that aspect of the human spirit that is always asking questions? That unquenchable thirst for knowledge powered by curiosity? Which, in the realm of sport is almost always aimed at the age-old question: what are human beings capable of?

Usain Bolt, the fastest man on record, could reach speeds of 27.33mph. That is approaching the speed limit on many roads in the UK. Then we have Eluid Kipchoge who in his own words, 'doesn't believe in limits', and ran a marathon in 1.59:40. We have Nirmal Purja who climbed the 14 highest mountains in the world in 7 months. Beating the previous record of more than 7 years. It sounds almost unbelievable, but thankfully Nirmal decided to make a documentary so you don’t have to take my word for it.

Nepalese Nirmal Pirja climbed the 14 highest peaks on Earth in only 7 months

The point is, all of these people are highly, highly driven. But in addition to the right mindset, and an iron will, they need the right physiological adaptations and environment to fulfil their dreams. They need their mind and body pulling in the same direction.

And so do you.

Physiological adaptations are shilajit’s bread and butter, so lets’ have a look at how it works its magic.

Here are 5 Ways Shilajit can make you Faster, Stronger & Leaner.

1. Adaptability, Recovery, and Longevity – the virtues of collagen

When we think of elite athletes, one thing they have in common is muscle. Muscle size, efficiency, strength, flexibility. Depending on the sport, their muscles will have different adaptations. It’s no good being the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger and trying to run a sub-2-hour marathon. To specialise in a sport, there will be trade-offs. The underlying principle here is muscle adaptation. Muscles adapt through stimulus. Repeated stimulus means more adaptation. But adaptation doesn’t just happen in a vacuum. A muscle needs the right building blocks. Relatively speaking, collagen has a greater tensile strength than steel. It also makes up approximately 30% of all proteins in the human body and is mainly responsible for muscle functionality such as flexibility, force transmission (strength), and adaptability.

So, why am I telling you this?

One study found that shilajit upregulates the genes responsible for making collagen, and 16 other related proteins relevant to the structural and biochemical integrity of the cells in your body. Which means that your joints and muscles will be stronger on a cellular level, and at a functional level when you’re after those last reps. The difference wasn’t trivial either.

This upregulation means that your genes capacity to generate collagen increases skeletal muscle adaptability, flexibility, and repair after exercise.

Meaning you get STRONGER from the SAME INPUT.

One of the most overlooked aspects of athletic performance is recovery, which – following a

stimulus – is when most muscle adaptation takes place.

There are few things that annoy me more than hearing people say that physical decline is inevitable to their friends in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and even 50’s.

It seems very much like a choice to me.

2. Boosts ATP (Longer Lasting Energy)

When somebody tells you that they can help you “get rich quick”, your bullshit detector goes off. Or at least it should if it’s working correctly. The same goes when you hear about an “easy way to increase energy and improve performance”.

But hear me out.

One study found that taking shilajit before aerobic exercise increased ‘exercise duration’ by 13%, and interestingly also found a 13% increase in the participants adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels. So again, the same amount of effort from you, goes 13% further.

Why is ATP important?

We have spoken about this before, but lets’ take a closer look.

The capacity for shilajit to act as an antioxidant and to enhance electron transfer meant that ATP synthesis was upregulated, and mitochondria function was enhanced.

This basically means that ATP is resynthesized quicker so it can be broken down again, in order to release a significant amount of energy. All of this adding up to mean you’ll tire out a lot slower. This is no secret.

The Russians used this knowledge to their advantage at the 1988 Olympic Games in

Seoul, when their athletes are said to have taken shilajit for training and competing. Needless to say, they came home with a huge tally of 54 gold medals.

There are several theories about why shilajit works to quell fatigue, and one potential reason is that is helps transport nutrients into muscle tissue where they will be used.

The fulvic acid in shilajit has the capability of attracting and binding to electrolytes, minerals,

vitamins, and probiotics amongst other things, and can aid in their transport to where they are most needed. It is also thought to increase the activity of digestive enzymes which are responsible for breaking down the protein in your diet into usable amino acids. Which essentially equates to more energy, and more muscle building blocks.

3. Boosts Nitric Oxide (NO)

The theme of this post is efficiency. Getting more from less, and this is also what boosting nitric oxide (NO) does too. The lining of your blood vessels uses NO to signal the smooth muscle to relax (this is separate from skeletal muscle and performs a different job) causing the vessels to widen – increasing blood flow. This process is called vasodilation. The increased blood flow has a profound effect on several things; cardiovascular health, physical/athletic performance, and sexual health. Interestingly, erectile dysfunction is one of the first signs of heart disease because the blood vessels feeding both are a similar size.

So, if you (or your partner) can’t get it up, maybe try speaking to your doctor.

You’ve probably guessed where this is going, but if you haven’t… Yes, shilajit can increase NO levels by up to 30%. This means that with the increased blood flow to your muscles, you will be able to perform to a higher standard, and for longer.

One study found that using shilajit increased the oxygen efficiency of which your heart will work at. Basically, meaning that you use more of the oxygen you breathe in. The knock-on effect of this is to lower your resting and working heart rate.

4. Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fascinating aspect of health.

We have been told repeatedly that cholesterol is bad and if you don’t reduce your levels, you’ll die a painful death. Ok, that may be an exaggeration.

But claiming that cholesterol is the enemy is disingenuous, at best. The function of cholesterol is to maintain the fluidity and integrity of cell membranes. If a cell membrane becomes too rigid, it cannot get the vitamins, minerals, and steroid hormones that it

needs to survive. Cholesterol is also important for producing sex hormones, and it assists in producing bile in the liver. Cholesterol is complicated and there is a balance to be found. The two main groups are high-density lipoproteins (HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol). The ‘good’ cholesterol is a precursor to testosterone, so low HDL equals low testosterone. And if I had to choose ONE thing for you to do to improve your athletic performance, it would be to increase your testosterone.

‘Bad’ cholesterol – LDL – has a tendency to ‘stick’ to the inside of your arteries, narrowing them and potentially causing blockages in your arteries.

‘Bad’ cholesterol is only labelled as such if levels get too high. It clearly has a function in a healthy body because why else would it be there?

So, ideally, we want to balance out the LDL and increase the HDL. And guess what? I have a solution for you.

In yet another study, it was found that shilajit reduces the ‘bad’ cholesterol and increases the ‘good’ cholesterol. Which means greater delivery of blood and nutrients to muscles, and an increase in testosterone. Which means that given time, you’ll be the next Francis Ngannou.

5. Marginal Gains

It is commonly accepted that body composition and performance is 80% nutrition and only 20% exercise and training. That’s not to say that training is inconsequential, because clearly 20% is still huge. But when we talk about athletic performance, ‘marginal gains’ is an overlooked aspect. Marginal gains were a huge part of the Team Sky Tour de France success. The Head Coach, Dave Brailsford explained this better than I could:

“The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.”

This was obviously specific to cycling, but why could you not apply this to your life?

In previous posts we have discussed the virtues of increasing testosterone, increasing the capacity of your cells to produce energy, and getting nutrients to where they need to be in the body. Shilajit doesn’t just give you that extra 1%, it contributes towards a multitude of different 1%’s. Between 2600 and 1600 B.C. in the Indus Velley civilisation (Pakistan and northwest India) shilajit was known as the Divya Rasayan, meaning ‘celestial super vitaliser’.

What price can you put on vitality?

That zest for life and enthusiasm for success. Whatever success means to you.

Be it winning a competition, or race, hitting a sales target, or being more present with your kids. Half of the formula to success in athletic pursuit is what you feed your body, and the other half is what you feed your mind.

I’m not going to claim that shilajit can change your mindset and make you more driven… but given its effect on dopamine, this isn’t out of the realm of possibility either.

To find out why so many pro's are turning to shilajit as their number 1 supplement for boosting optimisation and overall performance visit our store below.

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Team Altai Mountain:

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Are you an athlete looking for a way to boost your optimisation and performance in your field or looking for sponsorship? Get in touch with us to discuss options.

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