Blackcurrants, in particular the variety found in New Zealand, have been gaining some traction in recent months for its performance enhancing effects. What effects are these?
They seem to be two-fold; the blackcurrants are a vasodilator which cause the blood vessels to expand and improve blood flow to the areas that need it most. Secondly, they seem to have a high level of anti-oxidants which help reduce oxidative stress from exercise thus, reduce the levels of inflammation in the muscle, aiding recovery and allowing you to train harder again sooner!
How do we get these effects though?
Taking the correct amount of blackcurrant extract supplementation of 300mg a day for 7 days saw an improvement in performance in a repeated 4km Time trial with 10mins rest in-between. The total improvement was only 1% though and other similar trials about 2% improvement.
Not ground breaking but any of you looking for an edge maybe in summer 10s series or crits it may be worth a gander. Ultimately though foundations are made in a good diet, solid body composition and dedicated training.
What’s the take home?
There are a lot of options out there that currently result in similar improvements but it’s not known if you added them together you would gain combined benefits of all of them. Opting for the well proven beetroot or tart cherry juice for performance and recovery respectively would be better or just ensuring you’re getting the carbohydrate you need to do your ride or adequate protein to recover.
How can I get it in my diet?
As mentioned before the only real way to get that amount is through supplementation but here is a beautiful high protein and fresh snack.
- 200g fresh or frozen Blackcurrants
- 2tbsp Maple Syrup ~30g
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 200g Low fat Greek Yogurt
HEAT berries, maple syrup and lemon juice in a pan till bubbling
POUR yogurt into a bowl
POUR hot or cool compote over yogurt