British sports performance research is revealing how blackcurrants may offer a next-generation breakthrough for sports and diet supplements.
The programme of gold-standard, peer-reviewed science is revealing how blackcurrants deliver an unusual combination of performance, fat burning and recovery actions.
A range of University studies have shown athletes supplemented with a New Zealand blackcurrant extract could train harder, run further, cycle faster and burn more fat to an unprecedented level.
For dieters, blackcurrant extract can help by losing fat almost 30% more efficiently while undertaking exercise - with fast recovery and reduced muscle soreness.
The world-first studies were conducted on a capsule supplement called CurraNZ, made from New Zealand blackcurrant extract and sold in the UK. The 4-year programme of sports performance research from the University of Chichester has found
Subjects burn more fat: In short and long-duration cycling tests, participants increased fat burning by 15% and up to 27% at low and moderate cycling intensities.
Ability to exercise to a higher intensity: Participants had elevated lactate values, meaning they could exercise harder before tiring.
Ability to run further before reaching exhaustion: In high-intensity, intermittent running tests, participants increased their running distance by on average 10.6%, or 411m. In addition, participants increased distance during sprints by up to 10.8%, with one in three athletes showing improvements of greater than 15%.
Better maintained fastest maximal sprint times: In an intermittent shuttle test, designed to mimic the activity patterns of football and real game demands, athletes were better able to sustain their fastest running speeds, with reduced fatigue and less perceived effort.
These outcomes suggest blackcurrant supplementation could influence team sports outcomes in the latter stages of game play. The findings on this highly nutritious berryfruit are a key development for active people, who can exercise for longer at a higher intensity, lose more fat and recover faster.
As a result of this research, premiership rugby and football teams and world-class athletes are now turning to blackcurrant extract for a competitive edge. Blackcurrant fruit pigments, called anthocyanins, have been shown to increase blood flow up to 20% and act as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.