Blackcurrant for recovery

The body needs time to recover oxidative balance after strenuous exercise. Antioxidants, such as the anthocyanins in blackcurrant, help reduce oxidation and speed recovery.

In the first phase of this study, doctors wanted to see how quickly blackcurrant anthocyanins would enter the bloodstream. Thirty men and women took doses of blackcurrant extract ranging from 0.4 mg to about 1.5 mg per pound of body weight.

Doctors took blood samples before and several times after dosing, and found anthocyanins began circulating after 30 minutes, with levels peaking at two hours. In the exercise phase, 32 men and women took a placebo or the same dosage range of blackcurrant extract, waiting an hour before rowing for 30 minutes at 70 percent of maximum oxygen capacity.

Those taking at least 0.8 mg of blackcurrant extract per pound of body weight had significantly lower oxidative stress levels two hours after rowing. Also compared to placebo, the blackcurrant group had higher immune white blood cell (neutrophil) counts, and lower heart rates.