Maybe Popeye was onto something when he ripped open a can of spinach for beating up the bad guys. 

Scientists in Germany say, edcysterone, a chemical found in spinach is close to steroids and has a similar effect on humans. Researchers at Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin ran a 10-week test on nearly 50 athletes and found athletes who took capsules of ecdysterone increased their strength by up to three times. 

The capsules the athletes were given were the equivalent of about nine pounds of spinach but researchers say the capsules could be used as a performance enhancing drug. The study has called on the World Anti-Doping Authority to dig further into ecdysterone and wants the chemical added to the list of banned substances for athletes. 

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