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Nutrition: The power of pomegranates for athletes

Nutrition: The power of pomegranates for athletes

Studies suggest the antioxidant profile of the pomegranate is high enough to influence recovery rates

Pomegranates are the fruit of the moment in sports nutrition with a growing number of studies suggesting their antioxidant profile is high enough to influence recovery rates.

In the latest trial, published in the journal Nutrients, pomegranate juice was shown to reduce the oxidative stress that causes muscle damage and soreness and to improve the recovery time after weight training in a group of athletes.

Subjects in the trial, conducted by researchers at Sfax University in Tunisia, consumed 250ml of either a placebo drink or pomegranate juice three times daily in the 48 hours prior to a training session and an additional 500ml of either liquid one hour before they trained.

Blood samples were taken before, during and after the strength session and various biomarkers were assessed.

Findings suggested that consuming the pomegranate juice had an effect both immediately after a weight training session and for up to 48 hours later.

“The study is the first to demonstrate a potential protective effect of polyphenol-rich pomegranate juice supplementation on the degree of lipid peroxidation induced by intense weightlifting exercises,” said lead author Achraf Ammar, a researcher in nutritional biochemistry and sports medicine.

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