A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.
The study also found that the group saw their 3-mile run time drop from 26.5 minutes on average to 25.6 minutes.
Lead author Robert DiSilvestro from Ohio State University in Columbus, U.S. said, "We know that young women, in particular, often have micro-deficiencies in nutrients and that these nutrients play a role in how cells work during exercise".
"They tend to eat less meat than men and menstruation also plays an important role in the mineral loss," he added.
The minerals in the study included forms of iron, copper and zinc along with two other nutrients - carnitine (derived from an amino acid) and phosphatidylserine (made up of fatty acids and amino acids.)
The small study of young women compared the performance of those who took the supplement with a control group that took a placebo.
Initially, the team analysed 28 women and half of whom took the supplement.
The participants were recreational athletes between 18 to 30 years old, who had regularly done aerobic exercise at least two to three hours a week for six months. They also had to be runners.
Those who took the supplement combo were asked to sprinkle it into a beverage of their choice twice a day.
Stationary bike distance covered in 25 minutes increased to an average of 6.5 miles, compared to 6 miles at the start of the study.
Steps in the step test increased to almost 44 from about 40. All of the changes were statistically significant and were not seen in the placebo group.
They compared the women's athletic performance at the start of the study to performance at the end of a 30-day study period.
The second follow-up experiment examined 36 women and found a 41-second average decrease in run times.
"The run-time drops in people at this stage of life were pretty large when they took the supplement. And in the placebo group, we saw little change," DiSilvestro said.
The research appeared in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
(with ANI inputs)