The Buzz About Bee Pollen

Posted: December 24, 2010 in Nutrition
Tags: , ,

Bee shit – Nature’s wonder drug

I think every triathlete has something strangely unique or completely random that they will incorporate into their own personal regiment; something they believe will give them an edge.  For me, this has typically been marijuana.  Sore muscles – better smoke some weed.  Bad breath – smoke weed.  Need financial assistance?  That’s right, smoke weed.  It’s the cure all wonder drug for all contingencies.

In that regard, most triathletes are a little more conscientious about their choice of consumables and training practices (myself excluded).  Perhaps it is a specific dietary supplement they take before or after a race, a particular type of training workout, or perhaps just a personal commitment to a certain brand of athletic wear.  Maybe it’s something as simple as swearing by a new flavor of ‘Clif Shots’ or, hell, smearing themselves with Udo’s Oil by the light of a full moon, whatever it is, it provides them with that added confidence they need to believe that they are superhuman.

Lately, for me, this secret weapon is bee pollen.  That’s right, bee shit.  This amazing nutrient is esteemed by many health experts as a complete food. It has even been referred to in the past as “the most complete food on earth”.  It has been used as a supplement for thousands of years by many cultures all over the world.  It is mentioned, along with other bee products, in the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and has even been referred to in ancient Oriental scrolls of the Far East.  How could so many reputable texts and intelligent culture be wrong?  Personally, I also find it ironic that something deemed so healthy, exists as the result of the collected residue from the asses and hairy legs of honey bees, but there you have it.

Everyone is looking for that edge; something that gives them a little get-up-and-go, so to speak.  Likewise, something that assists with healing and recovery afterwards enabling the body to develop and improve over time.  Exercise is just that – the punishing of the body through repeated stress and then its ability to heal itself later.  So anything that can assist with these two processes is bound to be helpful and advantageous.  This is the same principle for all those sports and energy drinks like Cytomax, E-Load, Pure Sport, Ultra Fuel, etc.  Their job is to supply the body with all the necessary nutrients and energy it needs to be able to perform at an extremely high level, or for a longer duration, and then also be able to aid in the repair of the damaged muscle and body tissue afterwards.

Problem is that these performance enhancing super drinks usually cost a fair chunk of change.  Bee Pollen, by comparison, can be easily found in most health food stores for about $8-12.  It typically comes in one of two forms; in a single capsule, or as tiny loose granules that you then dissolve into your water or on your tongue.  If you choose the loose granular form, it is recommended that you take about 1 tbsp per 250ml of water.

But, really, what is it?  Bee pollen is basically plant sperm. The grains contain the male germ cells, produced by all plants, flowers or blossoms. One teaspoon of pollen contains approximately 1,200 pellets or 2.5 billion grains. And what do those grains contain?

  • Pollen functions as a natural energizer for the body, high in b-vitamins, vital for energy production at a cellular level.
  • High concentration of lecithin helps with dissolving and flushing fat cells, as well as nourishing the cells of the brain.
  • Helps to reduce food cravings thanks, in part, to the natural phenylalanine (an amino acid), which acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
  • Helpful in restoring the health the reproductive system and promotes relief from the discomfort of PMS.
  • It helps speed up caloric burn by stimulating the metabolic system.
  • Bee pollen benefits the immune system. It contains proteins, mono and polyunsaturated fats, vitamins B, C, D, E, and beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, selenium, nucleic acids, lecithin, and cysteine, all of which have been proven effective in strengthening the immune system.
  • Bee pollen helps you to cope more easily with stress thanks to the full profile of amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins. This helps to regulate your mood.
  • The amino acids within Bee Pollen are precursors to human growth hormone (HGH). Bee Pollen also contains a gonadotropic hormone very similar to the human pituitary hormone, gonadotropin, which functions as a sex gland hormone.

So let’s break these benefits down a little more precisely:

  1. It assists in producing energy at the cellular level
  2. It aids in weight loss
  3. Revitalizes the immune system
  4. It enhances your metabolism
  5. It helps you to achieve wood and turns you in a sexual dynamo*

How can this amazing nutrient be overlooked; it sounds like a triathletes wonder drug.  What I typically do is take one capsule each morning with my normal morning multi-vitamin and protein shake.  This aids me in just getting through the day while I’m toiling away in the office and ensures that my body is regenerating from the previous days workout, etc.  Then, later, when I go for my next workout I will add a tbsp of the granules to my water bottle for that added zip.

Do I notice any definite improvement – no, not really.  But I do believe that it is a major contributing factor to the fact that I have managed to avoid serious injury so far given the intensity level I have reached in recent months.  I also believe that is has assisted me to be able to focus on and complete some pretty rough workouts when it seemed like I was ready to call it quits.  Or, maybe, it’s just all in my head.

* Research conducted at various European Universities have shown in trials conducted with impotent men that more than half of those given bee pollen experienced a dramatic improvement of sperm and most gained a higher level of self-confidence, and were able to perform better sexually… after just one month of taking bee pollen. Hello?

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