It was the secret to Popeye’s super-human strength – but leading athletes look likely to be banned from following his lead.
Nearly a century after the creation of the cartoon sailor, and his love of spinach, scientists have realised he might have been on to something.
Researchers at the Free University of Berlin have found that ecdysterone – a hormone found in spinach – is so powerful that they want it considered a performance-enhancing drug.
The research team found a significant spike in performance among those who took the supplement in large quantities. The team, whose study was funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), gave athletes capsules of ecdysterone during a ten-week strength training session.