New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Enhances Muscle Oxygenation During Forearm Exercise in Intermediate-Level Rock Climbers

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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  • 1 University of Gloucestershire
  • 2 University of Chichester
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The delivery to and utilization of oxygenated hemoglobin to the forearm muscles are key determinants of rock-climbing performance. Anthocyanin-rich New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) has been suggested to improve blood flow and may enhance forearm endurance performance. As such, a double-blind, randomized crossover design study with 12 participants performed submaximal intermittent contractions (at 40% maximal voluntary contraction) to failure after a 7-day intake of 600 mg/day NZBC extract or placebo. Minimum tissue saturation index (TSI%) was assessed during the contractions. During recovery, time to half recovery of TSI% and brachial artery blood flow were assessed. There was no difference in time to exhaustion between NZBC and placebo. Minimum TSI% was lower with NZBC extract (43 ± 8 vs. 50 ± 11 TSI%; p = .007; Cohen’s d = 1.01). During recovery, there was no effect on brachial artery blood flow. However, time to half recovery was faster with NZBC (26 ± 17 vs. 42 ± 26 s; p = .001; Cohen’s d = 1.3) following exhaustive contractions. Seven days of NZBC extract appears to improve muscle oxygenation during and following contractions with no change in either arterial blood flow or forearm endurance performance.

Fryer and Paterson are with the School of Sport and Exercise, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Perkins, Gloster, Willems, and Potter are with the Institute of Sport, University of Chichester, Chichester, West-Sussex, United Kingdom.

Fryer (dr.s.fryer@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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