Astaxanthin - The Red Antioxidant for Boosted Athletic Performance

November 18, 2022

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, more specifically a xanthophyll, and therefore belongs to the group of fat-soluble pigments. It is formed in the seaweed Haematococcus Pluvialis, among others. 

Animals such as salmon and flamingos owe their color to the intake of this algae. Fortunately, astaxanthin in the right concentration does not have a chromatic effect on us humans, but it has several positive properties that we can take advantage of. 

Astaxanthin has, among other things, positive effects on, 

  • The skin: Astaxanthin protects the skin from UV radiation and the resulting oxidative stress caused by free radicals. These are very reactive and unstable molecules, especially oxygen compounds, which lack an electron. 

To stabilize themselves, they take it away from other molecules in the skin and damage them. Particularly high concentrations of free radicals can be caused by ultraviolet light, tobacco and alcohol consumption, permanent stress, or atmospheric pollution, among other things. 

Free radicals are mainly responsible for premature skin aging, which is why astaxanthin, and its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, is especially useful in cases of inflammation of the skin surface. 


  • The brain: Astaxanthin can slow down the age-related deterioration of neurons in our brain. It also has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect and activates enzyme systems that prevent oxidative stress. In addition, it protects against the deposition of certain proteins that occur especially in Alzheimer's dementia, and can reduce nerve damage caused by Parkinson's disease or stroke.

  • Joints: The anti-inflammatory properties of astaxanthin can also be used for joint problems. It is mainly used for chronic joint inflammation.


  • Eyes: Numerous studies show the positive effect of astaxanthin on the eyes and retina. It can cross the blood-retina barrier and accumulate there. Its positive effect on age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, inflammatory diseases such as retinitis or iritis, and diabetic retinopathy has been specially investigated.

  • Heart: Oxidative stress and inflammation are related to the development of cardiovascular diseases. The potential positive effects of astaxanthin on cardiovascular health have already been demonstrated in numerous preclinical studies. Consequently, astaxanthin can be used to prevent the progression or as an aid in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, especially atherosclerosis. Athletes can also benefit from astaxanthin. The so-called "cardiotonic effect" shows that the heart can regenerate more easily after a long-distance run due to improved blood circulation. 

  • Energy balance: Several studies have also analyzed the performance-enhancing effect of astaxanthin. One study, conducted over one month, involved cyclists taking 4 mg of astaxanthin per day. 

The placebo-controlled trial showed that those who took it were able to optimize their performance: they reached the finish line 2 minutes faster on average. In the comparison group, no significant change was found in the study with the participants who received a placebo.

Astaxanthin, a miracle cure? 


Like most dietary supplements, astaxanthin is not a panacea. However, many ailments have the same cause: oxidative stress and/or inflammation in the body. Astaxanthin can positively influence various physical ailments if taken regularly. 

In addition, a physician should be consulted, especially in the case of chronic ailments. Factors that harm existing or developing diseases should also be reduced as far as possible.

So, astaxanthin is not a miracle cure, but it's an excellent ally to human health. It is one of the best and most potent supplements for increasing strength in high-performing athletes and can be taken as a supplement.  

Green algae are a natural source of astaxanthin


In vitro studies have shown that natural astaxanthin has 50 times more antioxidant activity than synthetic astaxanthin. Algae such as Haematococcus Pluvialis are considered natural sources of astaxanthin. If green algae are subjected to stress, they accumulate astaxanthin in their cells for self-protection, which protects them, in particular, from harmful UV radiation and nutrient deficiencies. 

The algae then turns from green to red. This environmental stress can mean the absence of food, water, or too high temperatures. Astaxanthin has such a high oxidative protection factor that the cells can survive for several years in extreme climatic conditions without food or water.

Final Word

Astaxanthin is a red pigment coming from the Haematococcus Pluvialis seaweed, and it has become popular for its extraordinary health benefits. 

It promotes heart health, improved blood circulation, increased energy levels, eye health, boosted brain function, skin health, and joint mobility. 

It's best to take the natural form of astaxanthin as it is 50 times more potent than the synthetic one. 

In any case, astaxanthin is an excellent supplement to any diet and is particularly useful for boosting energy levels and preventing joint injuries in high-performing athletes.