L-citrulline and pomegranate aid recovery
Even well-trained athletes can get sore after strenuous exercise. In this study, doctors created four 7-ounce beverages to test the effects on muscle soreness, and gave each in rotation to 19 young resistance-trained men, age 18 to 30.
To a base of watermelon juice, doctors added citrulline alone, citrulline plus pomegranate ellagitannins, pomegranate ellagitannins alone, or just watermelon juice as placebo. After each drink, the men performed an intensive squat exercise to induce muscle damage.
At one hour, 24, and 48 hours after each drink, doctors took blood samples and asked participants to rate muscle soreness. During the placebo phase, signs of muscle damage in the blood (myoglobin) were higher. Compared to placebo, all citrulline and pomegranate groups reported less muscle soreness, and none at all by 48 hours, evidence of more efficient waste clearing and energy production.
Astaxanthin lowers heart rate
Earlier studies found astaxanthin improved cycling performance in athletes. In this study, 14 male and 14 female recreational runners, average age 42, took a placebo or 12 mg of astaxanthin per day.
After eight weeks, while the placebo group had not improved, those taking astaxanthin saw a 10 percent lower heart rate during a long-distance run compared to the same test at the start of the study. While there were no effects in shorter, higher-intensity runs, during the long-distance portions of the tests, participants were able to cover the same amount of distance at a lower heart rate compared to their performance before taking astaxanthin.
Reference: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry; 2017, Vol. 65, No. 22, 4395-404
Natural Insights for Well Being November 2017
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