SEVEN new studies have highlighted the growing array of benefits that New Zealand blackcurrants have to offer, from helping the elderly, to reliably improving running performance and helping the body cope with exercising or competing in the heat.
Here, we summarise the key messages to emerge from the University of Chichester's new research at the International Sports and Exercise Nutrition Conference, which, in a nutshell, showed:
It all sounds great, right? But what does it all mean? Let us break each of these down for you.
Scientists tested the fat burning benefits of CurraNZ during 30 minutes of brisk walking in men. In particular, they analysed whether it was necessary to take blackcurrant daily and if the effects would differ from one to two weeks’ intake. Results showed:
Conclusion: Blackcurrant delivers greater fat burning effects when taken daily, however does not work when taken intermittently. You don’t have to exercise at a high intensity to benefit from the fat burning properties of CurraNZ, with blackcurrant clearly favouring fat as an energy source after longer intake. Scientists suggest there is also the potential to deliver a greater degree of fat burning in overweight, obese and unhealthy people.
We already know that the body burns less fat and more carbohydrate when exercising in the heat. However, what happens when you add CurraNZ into the mix? Scientists tested 12 men and women during a 60-miniute treadmill test in hot conditions, after dosing on two CurraNZ capsules per day for 7 days. Findings revealed:
Conclusion: Blackcurrant significantly counteracts the decline that occurs to fat oxidation during exercise in the heat. Will it improve performance? It's too early to tell, but we’ll find out soon, when we reveal the findings of our running performance study!
It’s unusual for performance-boosting supplements to deliver the same level of improvement, every time. In this study, scientists set out to see whether our blackcurrant extract bucked the trend and can reliably deliver significant running performance gains.
16 active males performed interval sprints on a treadmill following 7-days intake of either 2 CurraNZ capsules daily or a placebo (a blank capsule). This was repeated five times and their distance during each timed sprint was recorded. They showed:
Conclusion: The key finding showed that a high number of people consistently responded to CurraNZ. Additionally, those supplemented on blackcurrant, compared to placebo, significantly improved their performance by covering more distance. This study confirmed that blackcurrant consistently and repeatedly improves performance in sports characterised by high-intensity intermittent running.
Exercise in the heat is one of the most severe demands athletes can place on the gastro-intestinal system. Up to 90% of endurance athletes are affected by symptoms of gastrointestinal distress during exercise in the heat. In this study, 12 un-acclimatised men took two CurraNZ capsules daily for 7 days. As with the previous heat study, participants performed 60 minutes moderate-intensity running on a treadmill in hot conditions (34°C, 40% humidity). At rest, 20, 60 and 240 minutes post-exercise, measurements were taken of gut damage markers.
Conclusion: Blackcurrant extract exerted a significant reduction in this marker of intestinal cell damage at each post-exercise time point, indicating blackcurrant helps maintain intestinal integrity, reduces upper and lower GI distress and related symptoms, such as nausea, stitch and dizziness.
This means if you were due to compete in the heat, you could consider using blackcurrant in the week tapering before the event if you suffer from GI distress. The findings are particularly relevant to ultra-marathon runners who compete at lower exercise intensities and endurance athletes who train in hot conditions.
Ever heard of ‘old person’s smell’? As we age, our body releases gasses from our skin as a result of oxidative stress. These are commonly responsible for an unpleasant smell in the elderly. The study took 14 middle-aged adults (aged 49-64) who consumed New Zealand blackcurrant daily for seven days. A cap was then fitted to the base of their necks which captured skin gas emissions, more specifically 2-nonenal – a gas which occurs naturally when fats are broken down in glands under the skin. The study findings showed…
Conclusion: NZ blackcurrant is able to reduce 2-nonenal-induced body odour in adults and can help protect against the ageing process and disrupt the normal situation that occurs with oxidative stress.
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