The ability of our muscles to perform while we exercise is dependent on them receiving, via our blood circulation system, nutrients that our muscles cells need for energy. One of the most important nutrients is oxygen which is involved in the conversion of glucose into energy by our muscles. A clinical trial undertaken at the University of Gloucestershire in England has revealed that New Zealand blackcurrants can increase the delivery of oxygen to muscles during exercise. The trial looked at the function of muscles in the forearms of rock climbers performing sub-maximal forearm contractions. Twelve volunteer climbers took part in the double blind, randomised, cross over trial and consumed either a placebo or an anthocyanin-rich New Zealand blackcurrant extract for seven days before participating in the trial. After consumption of the New Zealand blackcurrant extract the volunteers had improved levels of oxygen extraction from the blood into their forearm muscles during a second intense period of forearm contractions, compared to when they consumed the placebo. A summary of the trial can be read here.
As well as increasing the delivery of oxygen to muscles during exercise New Zealand Blackcurrants have been shown to increase the removal of waste products such as lactate that result from our muscle cells converting glucose to energy during exercise. A full report on that clinical trial can be read here.
So it makes good sense to regularly include New Zealand blackcurrants in your diet so that when you are exercising your muscles are able to function at their best.
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