A recent paper produced by British Exercise Physiology Professor Professor Mark Willems and his team at the University of Chichester, strengthens the scientific evidence that our very own New Zealand blackcurrants show huge potential when it comes to sports and exercise nutrition.
Following some reported anecdotal evidence surrounding the benefits of blackcurrants within elite athletic circles, Professor Willems and his team decided to investigate further. New Zealand blackcurrants are already well know for their high levels of anthocyanins, and scientific evidence is growing to support a range of other benefits – including anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
Trial results found overall that the athletes experienced improved time trial performance, enhanced fat oxidation, lower lactate response, and experienced post-exercise benefits including enhanced blood flow and lower lactate levels.
To test his theory, Professor Willems conducted a double-blind trial on a group of trained athletes. (Double blind trials are ones in which neither the researchers nor the patients know what they are getting, and for this reason are often considered to achieve a higher standard of scientific rigour.) The purpose of the trial was to examine whether the use of NZ blackcurrants would alter physiological and metabolic responses during exercise and after exercise. Trial results found overall that the athletes experienced improved time trial performance, enhanced fat oxidation, lower lactate response, and experienced post-exercise benefits including enhanced blood flow and lower lactate levels.
More information on the trial, its process and results can be found here.
First published in The Sport and Exercise Scientist, Winter, issue 50. Published by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences – www.bases.org.uk