A study on 27 non resistance-trained men and women took 300mg (1 capsule) of CurraNZ seven days leading to the bout of strenuous isokinetic resistance exercise focusing on the bicep, then an hour beforehand, and four days following testing.
The findings showed:
- Three-times faster recovery of muscle function over a 96-hour period. Blackcurrant participants regained muscle strength within 24 hours, while the placebo group recovered in 72 hours.
- 47% and 49% less muscle soreness at 24 and 48 hours, compared to placebo
- 84% less muscle tissue damage at 96 hours, compared to placebo
Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) typically involves two phases of recovery, with a disruption to muscle fibres followed by a rise in inflammation, swelling and oxidative stress. These secondary events lead to additional tissue damage and the release of toxic by-products, which results in impaired muscle function and pain, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
New Zealand blackcurrant extract is rich in anthocyanins, natural pigments responsible for the fruit’s dark purple colouring. These bioactives possess antioxidant, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory qualities.
In this study, blackcurrant consumption improved recovery time three-fold, with participants regaining muscle function within one day.
Blackcurrant reduced the release of creatine kinase (a protein that leaks out of damaged muscle tissue into the circulation) by 84% compared to placebo at 96 hours post exercise, indicating the berry’s compounds protected muscles from secondary tissue damage.
The use of anthyocyanin-rich foods and supplements have become popular for aiding post-exercise recovery in active people in recent years. However, the majority of studies on anthocyanin and antioxidant-rich interventions, such as beetroot, blueberry, tart cherry and pomegranate, have shown no effect on creatine kinase, a common measure to assess EIMD.
However, in this study, CurraNZ® proved very effective, which is attributed to its antioxidant scavenging and anti-inflammatory abilities.
Consumption of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract improves recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in non-resistance trained men and women: A double-blind randomized trial, was published in Nutrients,
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2875; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082875