SYNOPSIS: Compared to normal temperatures, the body burns less fat and more carbohydrate when exercising in the heat. Previous studies have shown that New Zealand blackcurrant extract CurraNZ increases rates of fat burning at low and moderate intensities when exercising in normal temperatures.
Researchers at the University of Chichester examined whether New Zealand blackcurrant anthocyanin extract would affect substrate use during moderate intensity exercise in the heat.
Twelve unacclimatised men and six women took 600mg of CurraNZ New Zealand blackcurrant extract for seven days before performing 60 minutes of treadmill running in hot ambient conditions (34°C, 40% humidity).
The findings showed CurraNZ:
- Enhanced fat oxidation by 30% in both men and women
- Moderate sparing of carbohydrate expenditure by 11%
- Had no adverse effects on thermoregulation
- Heat stress did not reduce the beneficial alterations to substrate metabolism observed following blackcurrant supplementation in ‘normal’ conditions
New Zealand blackcurrant extract has a ‘strong effect’ on fat oxidation during prolonged running in both men and women.
The findings point to blackcurrant extract’s potential as an ergogenic aid when exercising in the heat, particularly in ultra-endurance events.
The study also found that New Zealand blackcurrant extract had no detrimental effects on thermoregulation and is safe to use in both temperate and warm conditions.