Blueberries: Benefit For Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage?

Interestingly, subjects who had the blueberry beverage prior to and after EIMD were found to have accelerated recovery of muscle peak isometric strength. These findings may benefit the sporting community who should consider dietary interventions that specifically target health and performance adaptation.

These findings had been predicted from earlier, simpler laboratory experiments in which researchers had explored the benefits of fruit polyphenolic extracts in reducing the susceptibility of skeletal muscle cells to oxidative stress. Muscle fibers grown in culture were damaged and exposed to blueberry fruit extract - which displayed a potent and significant dose-dependent protective capacity. These results show that blueberry fruits or derived foods rich in malvidin glycosides may be beneficial in relieving muscle damage caused by oxidative stress.

Further, a recently published study from North Carolina shows that combining blueberries with exercise offers two additional benefits - the ability to burn fat longer after exercise, and improved absorption of inflammation-reducing antioxidant compounds called polyphenols. Elite athletes are not the only ones who can benefit from the potent combination of blueberries and exercise. This is good news for weekend warriors, too. In this study, long-distance runners were given a soy protein complex containing polyphenols from blueberries and green tea for two weeks, followed by three days of running 2.5 hours per day. This group of runners showed higher rates of absorption of beneficial polyphenols, and their metabolism rate remained elevated longer after exercise compared with runners who were given only the soy protein complex.

Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds abundant in blueberries, and work in the body to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Increasing the body's ability to absorb polyphenols means the body is better equipped to fight inflammation and oxidative stress. Also, metabolic afterburn - the spike in metabolism that occurs after exercise - lasted longer in the group that ingested the blueberry/green tea complex. This meant an increased fat burning ability that lasted 14 hours after exercise ended, even during sleep.

In conclusion, exhaustive or unaccustomed intense exercise can lead to EIMD and a decreased ability to adhere to a fitness or exercise training program. Oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to muscle soreness. Selective nutrition, rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, can be used to aid recovery from EIMD. In this regard, along with blueberries, cherries and pomegranate have also shown promising results.

These are just 3 of 42 of the healthiest fruits present in a single delicious glass of Go Ruby Go - a mix of healthful, life-giving all-natural phytonutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like nothing else available today.

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