Struggling to train and race in the sweltering Australasian summer temperatures? Then read on.
CurraNZ may offer significant benefits for helping athletes reduce the risk of gastro-intestinal stress during exercise in the heat.
Early data from a new CurraNZ study has found ‘robust evidence’ that our powerful blackcurrant anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, help reduce gastro-intestinal damage.
Exercise in the heat is one of the most severe demands athletes can place on the gastro-intestinal system (remember Jonny Brownlee succumbing at the finish line of the Triathlon World Series in Mexico?).
Up to 90% of endurance athletes are affected by symptoms of gastrointestinal distress during exercise in the heat, which are in part caused by a redistribution in blood flow away from the gut, leading to a host of symptoms that, if left uncontrolled, can impair exercise performance and may even lead to more severe outcomes such as heat illness.
The findings are particularly relevant to ultra-marathon runners who compete at lower exercise intensities, and to endurance athletes who train in hot conditions.
Results showed that participants who took two capsules of CurraNZ blackcurrant extract for a week had a significant reduction in a key intestinal cell damage marker after exercise. The results showed that blackcurrant helped maintain intestinal integrity compared to those on the placebo.
University of Chichester Thermal Physiologist Dr Ben Lee, says: “There will be a full data set in 12 months, however at this stage of the analysis, it seems that blackcurrant helps maintain intestinal integrity. If you were due to compete in the heat, you could consider the use of blackcurrant in the week tapering before the event if you suffer from GI distress.”
Mark Willems, Professor of Sports and Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester (left), says: “We’re building a picture that New Zealand blackcurrant is potent in many aspects. This latest heat study is taking us into new territory with blackcurrant and with all the data we have so far, it’s proving potent in itself, compared to other anthocyanin-rich products.
“We are realising that it maybe the specific blackcurrant anthocyanin composition that is making this berry stand out from the others.”