As ultrarunners, we are obsessive by nature, writes elite endurance athlete, Laurel Walker.
We obsess over training, gear,
nutrition, hydration, planning, all of it!
An ongoing trend in the community is nutrition, not just during a run or race but in everyday life. We've seen everything from the bean burrito fuelled Scott Jurek– 7 consecutive times Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run winner and author of best-selling book 'Eat and Run', to ultrarunners such as Jeff Browning and Zach Bitter swearing but a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet.
We've even seen more extreme versions of the LCHF diet with Mike McKnight's zero-calorie 100 miler he completed a few years back.
In my humble opinion, as an informed human but not a dietician, and speaking from experience, there is no right way to eat! That goes for everyone, including ultrarunners. What's cool though is that some of the benefits that people have seen from certain diets can be achieved with supplements, such as CurraNZ, without having to change up your diet.
In this blog we will specifically discuss fat oxidation.
Fat oxidation refers to the process by which the body breaks down stored fat
molecules to release energy. This process occurs during periods of energy
expenditure, such as exercise or when the body needs more energy than is available from the immediate food intake. Fat is broken down into fatty acids and glycerol, which can be used as a source of energy by the body's cells. It's an essential part of metabolism and contributes to weight loss when there's a calorie deficit, as the body relies on stored fat for energy (Purdum et al. 2018) 10 .
Researchers first made the discovery that CurraNZ improves fat oxidation in male
cyclists by 27% in 2015 (2) , with another eight studies (1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) since confirming these observations in both men and women, across a range of exercise modalities and durations, in ambient and hot conditions.
In a recent 2022 study (1) , researchers found that women who consumed CurraNZ before a 30-minute morning walk enhanced fat oxidation by 10% - 66% (Willems et al. 2022). What was also interesting to note in this study supported the notion again that females may be more responsive than males to the positive effects of NZBC on exercise-induced fat oxidation.
In summary, these studies repeatedly show that CurraNZ can help enhance fat oxidation during exercise.
A great way to test the effects is a 14-day trial of 600mg/day (two capsules). Nine published studies have validated these fat metabolism observations, but it is important to note that these are preliminary studies in women and more research is needed.
However, it is promising to hear that a natural supplement like CurraNZ could enhance fat oxidation without needing to change your diet. Wouldn't it be great to keep eating all those croissants and still enjoy fat-burning adaptations?!
About Laurel Walker
Laurel Walker is an elite mountain athlete and ultra-runner who has completed four 100-mile races, including a top-ten placing and AG win at the Brazos Bend. Laurel races distances up to 100 miles and is training for CCC in Europe in 2024.
1. Enhanced walking-induced fat oxidation by New Zealand blackcurrant extract is body composition-dependent in recreationally active adult females, Nutrients 2022, 14, 1475. https:// doi.org/10.3390/nu14071475
2. New Zealand Blackcurrant Improves Performance and Fat Oxidation in Cyclists, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2015 June 30.
3 .New Zealand blackcurrant extract enhances fat oxidation during prolonged cycling in endurance-trained females. (2018) European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6327
4. Daily and Not Every-Other-Day Intake of Anthocyanin-Rich New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Alters Substrate Oxidation during Moderate-Intensity Walking in Adult Males, Journal of Dietary Supplements, October 2020,
5. Intake Duration of Anthocyanin-Rich New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Affects Metabolic Responses during Moderate Intensity Walking Exercise in Males, June 2020 Journal of Dietary Supplements, https://doi.org/10.1080/19390211.2020.1783421
6. Dose Effects of New Zealand Blackcurrant on Substrate Oxidation and Physiological Responses During Prolonged Cycling, Eur J Appl Physiol (April 2017) 117:1207–1216DOI 10.1007/s00421-017-3607-z
7. Dietary supplementation with New Zealand blackcurrant extract enhances fat oxidation during submaximal exercise in the heat, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, March 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2020.02.017
8. Anthocyanin-rich New Zealand blackcurrant extract enhances running-induced fat oxidation in an ultra-endurance amateur male runner: A case study, Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, 2022 https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk7040104
9. Anthocyanin-rich New Zealand blackcurrant extract enhances whole-body resting fat oxidation in physically active males, Dietary Supplements and Nutraceuticals, August 2023 2(8): 30-40. DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.31989/dsn.v2i8.1124.
10. Understanding the Factors that Affect Maximal Fat Oxidation, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, January 2018. DOI: https://www.doi.org/:10.1186/s12970-018-0207-1