No crap! Blackcurrants can help you go faster and further in your marathon, triathlon or time trial

No crap! Blackcurrants can help you go faster and further in your marathon, triathlon or time trial

ONE triathlete recently told us, ‘if eating dog poo would make me faster, I’d do it.’

If you’re serious about your performance, then maybe you identify with this view. 

Concentrated beetroot sports products have been popular in recent years for performance, but let’s face it, most of these shots and drinks taste like manure.

Plus, they can cause stomach upsets, which isn’t ideal for racing. Embarrassing loo stops during competition will kill any chance of beating your best time.

Fortunately, there’s another way. If you’re after a natural dietary aid free from unpleasant side-effects, then blackcurrants are a winner. 

Blackcurrant extract CurraNZ, an official supplement supplier to High Performance Sport New Zealand and high-profile sports team all over the world, is taste-free, scientifically proven and drug tested. Plus, it's ultra-convenient, easy to use and contains next-to-no sugar.  

The subject of more than a dozen peer-reviewed studies, the evidence for CurraNZ is undeniable.

It’s also gentle and protective on the gut (more on this below) and as a vegetarian-friendly capsule, the product is great for those with special dietary needs and removes any hassle associated with shots and drinks.

Here are five scientifically-proven ways in which blackcurrants can boost your performance:

  1. Potent anthocyanins that supercharge blood flow

Small but mighty, blackcurrants are rich in polyphenol compounds that boost blood flow.

For the performance-minded, CurraNZ increases main arterial blood flow up to 35% during exercise1 and boosts oxygen uptake within the muscle. The effect? Muscles work less hard for the same output and delays onset of lactate2, meaning you’ll feel less fatigue and your muscles will keep firing for longer.

If you're into endurance sport and participate in events longer than six hours, we recommend re-dosing during the race. This is because the anthocyanin levels will be dipping after eight hours, so re-dosing six hours after dose one will provide another vasodilation boost - useful at the end of the race to reduce fatigue and support muscle function. 

 

  1. Blackcurrants favour fat as fuel – great for endurance

The berry’s dramatic effect on fat oxidation is an incredible discovery that makes it stand apart from beetroot and other performance aids. Absolutely nothing else touches blackcurrant in this respect.

Running, walking, cycling and running studies3,4,5,6,7 from 30 to 120 minutes, in normal temperatures and in the heat, have proven repeatedly that CurraNZ, taken for at least a week, will increase fat burning during exercise in ranges up to 30% on average and up to 55% in some individuals.

The news gets better. Taken for two weeks, the effect on fat burning becomes even more pronounced6.

 Put it this way, to achieve these increases to fat burning through exercise alone is equivalent to exercising two hours every day for a month!

 How will this help performance? Burning more fat is beneficial for endurance. Plus, blackcurrant also spares carbohydrate, meaning you have more left ‘in the tank’ for the end of the race.

 

  1. Proven to improve performance up to 15%!

In scientific terms, the benchmark for an ergogenic aid to make ‘any worthwhile change’ to sports performance is approximately 0.8%.

Six running and cycling studies8,9,10,11,12,13  on blackcurrant extract have shown average performance increases ranging from 2.4% to 11%, with top responders in some studies hitting 15%.

Outside of the lab however, 83% of CurraNZ users surveyed have seen a noticeable improvement to their performance.

So, if you’re an endurance athlete or take part in sports characterised by high-intensity, intermittent sprints such as football and rugby, then blackcurrants can bring real benefits.

4. Ideal for supporting the gut when exercising in the heat

    Up to 90% of endurance athletes experience symptoms of gut distress14, such as vomiting, dizziness and stomach upsets, which becomes more pronounced when exercising in the heat.

    Hot race-day conditions add another layer of challenge with potential exertional heat stress.

    In these conditions, beetroot becomes an absolute no-no because it increases core and skin temperature and is not recommended for use in hot temperatures16.

     Blackcurrants however, are a natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the effects of exertional distress on the gut15.

     

    5. Less perceived exertion

      So, if your muscles don’t have to work as hard during exercise for the same output, does this make the task mentally easier? We don’t know the answer for sure, but there is certainly science to support this, with study subjects feeling less perceived exertion8 and having a greater motivation to keep going when exercising 17.

       

      Using blackcurrant for performance gains

      It’s easy. Take one-two capsules of CurraNZ every day for at least a week (two weeks if possible) up to and including race day.

      On race day, take two capsules, two hours before the start time, with or without food. Take two capsules six hours following if racing for longer than this period. We suggest snipping two capsules from the blister and carrying on your person or strapping to bike handles.

      Another tip - the effects on fat burning during exercise are even greater after two weeks of use6, which is more beneficial for endurance.

      So, in conclusion, longer daily use of CurraNZ will deliver better effects, and that’s no crap.

       

      References

      1. New Zealand Blackcurrant Alters Physiological Reponses and Femoral Artery Diameter during Sustained Isometric Contraction. Matthew David Cook, Stephen David Myers, Mandy Lucinda Gault and Mark Elisabeth Theodorus Willems, June 2017 Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 556; doi:10.3390/ nu9060556
      2. Beneficial Physiological Effects With Blackcurrant Intake in Endurance Athletes. Willems ME1, Myers SD, Gault ML, Cook MD. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Mar 26.
      3. New Zealand blackcurrant extract enhances fat oxidation during prolonged cycling in endurance-trained females. Strauss, JA, Willems, MET and Shepherd, SO (2018) European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6327
      4. Dose Effects of New Zealand Blackcurrant on Substrate Oxidation and Physiological Responses During Prolonged Cycling, Matthew David Cook, Stephen David Myers · Mandy Lucinda Gault · Victoria Charlotte Edwards · Mark Elisabeth Theodorus Willems, 1 3Eur J Appl Physiol (April 2017) 117:1207–1216DOI 10.1007/s00421-017-3607-z
      5. New Zealand Blackcurrant Improves Performance and Fat Oxidation in Cyclists, Willems ME1, Myers SD, Blacker S, Cook MD. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2015 June 30.
      6. Effects of New Zealand blackcurrant extract on whole-body fat oxidation during moderate intensity exercise in males (IN PRESS)
      7. New Zealand blackcurrant extract enhances fat oxidation during submaximal exercise in the heat. Absttract, released at ISENC 2018
      8. Beneficial Effects of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract on Maximal Sprint Speed during the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test. Mark ET Wil­lems, Luke Cousins, David Williams and Sam D. Blacker. Sports, Published August 2016, 4(3), 42; doi:10.3390/sports4030042
      9. New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Improves High-intensity Intermittent Running. Perkins IC1, Vine SA, Blacker SD, Willems ME. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Mar 26.
      10. New Zealand Blackcurrant Improves Performance and Fat Oxidation in Cyclists, Willems ME1, Myers SD, Blacker S, Cook MD. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2015 June 30.
      11. Effects of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract on Repeated Cycling Time Trial Performance, Connor A. Murphy , Matthew D. Cook and Mark E.T. Willems, Sports May 2017, 5(2), 25; doi:10.3390/sports5020025
      12. Effect of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract on Performance during the Running Based Anaerobic Sprint Test in Trained Youth and Recreationally Active Male Football Players. Sports 2017, 5(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5030069
      13. Effects of dietary antioxidants on training and performance in female runners. Braakhuis AJ1, Hopkins WG, Lowe TE. Eur J Sport Sci. 2014;14(2):160-8. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2013.785597. Epub 2013 Apr 20.
      14. Gastrointestinal Complaints During Exercise: Prevalence, Etiology, and Nutritional RecommendationsSports Med. 2014; 44(Suppl 1): 79–85. 2014 May 3. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0153-2
      1. New Zealand blackcurrant extract attenuates enterocyte damage following exertional heat stress. Abstract, released ISENC 2018.
      2. The Effect of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Combined Thermal/Hypoxic Stress. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 47(5S):493, MAY 2015. . DOI:0.1249/01.mss.0000477788.60139.e9
      3. The effect of acute New Zealand blackcurrant juice consumption on motivation to exercise. Abstract, Innovations in Food Science and Human Nutrition Conference, September 2018