Synopsis: [May 2022] A review paper has found that anthocyanins in dark berries such as New Zealand Blackcurrants are an essential dietary supplement for athletes and recreational users, with performance gains of up to 11% amongst their many benefits.
’Anthocyanin-Rich Supplementation: Emerging Evidence of Strong Potential For Sports and Exercise Nutrition’ - reviews the clinical proof that now exists for these berry phytochemicals - and the decades of exciting research that lie ahead.
The review evaluated 32 published studies on blackcurrants, chokeberry, Haskap, bilberry and blueberry, with the New Zealand blackcurrant extract supplement CurraNZ leading the way with 13 studies.
The published data highlights their multi-factorial properties to help realise athletic potential, provide a performance advantage of up to 11% for cycling, running and climbing, and accelerate muscle recovery up to three times faster.
Mark Willems, Professor of Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester, concludes that these compounds should be regarded as a ‘dietary staple’ for athletes or recreationally active individuals.
He notes: “Caffeine, creatine, dietary nitrates, beta alanine, bicarbonate and tart cherry products are all customary for athletes to use to enhance performance and recovery. They don’t question whether they work, they just take it.
“Anthocyanin supplements, such as those from New Zealand blackcurrants, are joining those ranks too now as an accepted intervention and should be part of standard supplement protocols to support athletes.”
Anthocyanin-Rich Supplementation: Emerging Evidence of Strong Potential for Sport and Exercise Nutrition was published in Frontiers In Nutrition March 2022. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.864323