April 12, 2023 at 16:09
Fort Worth, Texas -
Meat Motor is calling on its community to explore whether New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract can improve performance in high-intensity interval and endurance training for athletes. The organization raised this question — and attempted to answer it — in a recent article, which can be found on the official Meat Motor website.
According to the article, research is showing that New Zealand blackcurrant extract may have a distinctly beneficial effect on high-intensity exercise. The first study it refers to gave 13 male runners either a placebo or 300 mg of CurraNZ NZBC extract (containing 105 mg anthocyanin) for a single week, following which they performed a treadmill run up to the point of exhaustion. This run, the article says, included six 19-second sprints that were interspersed with 15 seconds of jogging. Each stage was repeated at a higher speed until the athlete was exhausted.
The initial results are promising. The article states, “The runners supplemented with NZBC extract ran a total of 10.6% farther, including 10.8% farther during the sprints. While heart rate, oxygen uptake, and perceived effort were similar between groups for the first four stages, blood lactate levels tended to be higher at exhaustion for those taking NZBC extract. Lactate levels also decreased more 15 minutes after the run for the NZBC group, suggesting faster recovery. The results indicate NZBC extract may improve high-intensity interval running performance and recovery.”
The second study described in the article tested athletes from another sport that has similarly strenuous physical requirements: cycling. It analyzed the effects of 300 mg of CurraNZ NZBC extract on repeat cycling time trials, and 10 male cyclists took either the extract or a placebo for one week. At the end of this period, they were put through two 4-km cycling time trials (they were allowed 10-minute breaks between each trial).
Some may consider the results here to be less dramatic, but they do appear to warrant further research, especially given the context of other independent research, such as the first study. While time trial completion times and heart rate/lactate levels were similar between the groups of cyclists, the group that took NZBC extract demonstrated a total time that was 0.82% faster. In fact, the article says a majority of cyclists in the group had faster total times when taking the extract.
These results are by no means conclusive, but athletes who want to keep themselves on the cutting edge may be interested in keeping tabs on this area of research. Meat Motor limits their concerns to the applications such consumables have in purely athletic environments, but a great deal of research is being carried out to determine the effects of blackcurrants on cancer prevention, diabetes control, memory retention and more. However, as with any substance, they are suspected to have a link to certain side effects as well, so athletes are advised to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages before actually adding blackcurrant extract to their regimen.
The best way to do so may be to read as many studies about black currants as possible. Many resources are freely available online, including on the Meat Motor platform. As the organization’s article notes, “In summary, New Zealand blackcurrant extract may enhance performance in high-intensity intermittent exercise and short-distance endurance cycling.” Research has yet to determine whether this is the case conclusively, but it does seem promising.
The article concludes, “More research is needed to confirm and further analyze these performance enhancements before recommendations can be definitively made. Endurance athletes can consider trying NZBC extract in their training regimen, but should also focus on other established methods like high-intensity interval training, strength training, getting enough rest and proper nutrition. An anthocyanin-rich NZBC extract like CurraNZ may provide additional benefits, but ultimately hard work and dedication are required to improve endurance performance.”
The Meat Motor team has dedicated themselves to browsing the vast reams of research coming out of various institutions and sorting the optimistic from the merely speculative. Since athletes have to focus so much of their attention on their training, the platform aims to simplify complex research into a more digestible format, enabling interested parties to take away what they need the most quickly.
Meat Motor has articles on studies covering endurance, nutrition, and more. Athletes may stay up to date with the latest news and studies by following Meat Motor on social media. The organization has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and more.
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