Should Athletes Eat Ancient Himalayan Plant Goo?
As far as supplements go, Hanah’s newest one wins the prize for strangest. It’s called Shilajit+, and its primary ingredient is, go figure, Shilajit. What the hell is Shilajit? Well, as the Indian tectonic plate crashed into the Eurasian plate and formed the Himalayas, plant matter was swept up in the rock. That matter decomposed and, encased in stone, condensed. Now, millions of years later, it seeps out during the warmer months as a mineral-rich resin.
Shilajit is known to contain phytonutrients and trace ionic minerals including iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium and more. It also is thought to contain high amounts of fulvic acid, which is believed to help transport nutrients to cells and to reduce inflammation and disrupt diseases like cancer and dementia. Hanah asserts that Shilajit’s composition allows it to boost mental clarity, energy levels and immunity, and to support longevity and increase stamina.
If you’re noticing a lot of unsure qualifying adjectives like “believed” here, that’s because the scientific community hasn’t proved Shilajit’s benefits. Instead, they come from Ayurveda, the Hindu system of medicine that relies on diet, herbs and physical wellness to promote holistic health. Drinking tea to fend off a cold is an example of Ayurveda. Shilajit+ also contains ashwagandha, a root, and mucuna pruriens, a tropical legume, both of which are common ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine.
Hanah’s claims aren’t evaluated by the FDA, but neither are those made by dietary supplement companies marketing protein powders and vitamins. If Shilajit does produce the benefits that it claims, then Hanah’s Shilajit+ is a jar of miracles. Or it could be snake oil. For what it’s worth, the company has slowly built an impressive roster of athletes who trust in its products including Jimmy Chin, Ian Walsh, Travis Rice and Michelle Parker.