CurraNZ has been shown in recent years to be a reliable and effective performance enhancer, but only after repeated intake over a week.
Findings from a new study1 has surprised UK researchers by showing that a one-off, three-capsule dose before exercise can deliver a modest performance effect in adults with lower levels of fitness.
Two hours after taking one dose of 900mg (three capsules) of the CurraNZ® supplement, 26 endurance-trained males and eight females were measured on their 10-mile cycling time trial power, speed, heart rate, cadence and reported perceived exertion.
Study findings showed:
Mark Willems, Professor of Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester, led the study, saying: “The main message from this study is that not everyone responds to one dose of blackcurrant, it’s dependent on their level of fitness.
“Interestingly, we also observed that the beneficial effect seems to emerge in the latter part of the time trial, the part where it is likely that negating effects of fatigue are kicking in.
“Those who ride a time trial of 23 minutes or less would benefit using this dosing rationale with blackcurrant. It also appears that females may be a bit more responsive and is a trend we’re starting to see across our studies, although more work needs to be done to confirm this.”
The smallest worthwhile change in 10-mile elite time trial cycling is considered to be 0.6%2. A previous study3 of seven-day dosing on CurraNZ blackcurrant extract showed cyclists improved their performance by on average 2.4% up to 8.6%.
The anthocyanins found in CurraNZ have been shown to increase blood flow, cardiac output, oxygen uptake and utilisation in muscle. Also powerful antioxidants, anthocyanins may help combat the rise in reactive oxygen species (ROS) that occurs during exercise and contributes to fatigue.
Previously only lower levels (300mg and 600mg) of blackcurrant extract had been tested in acute-dosing performance studies, which may not have been sufficient to exert the biological effects required for improvements.
Professor Willems says: “Some people can respond highly but for those who are high-ability cyclists, they will probably need to dose for a longer period in order to benefit from the performance effects of blackcurrant.
“This finding is great for the slower weekend warrior though and hopefully it will lead to follow-on studies.”