Background: Flavonoids consider as a large group of plant metabolites that 6,000 types of them have been identified till now. In some studies, it has been shown that they can increase aerobic performance and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of anthocyanin (as one of the most important kind of flavonoids) supplementation on body composition, exercise performance and muscle damage indices in athletes.
Methods: This double-blinded clinical trial involved 54 female and male athletes at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences with athletic history of at least 3 years. Body composition, exercise performance, creatine kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase were assessed. Individuals were selected by simple sampling method, they divided into two groups using permuted block randomization method. First group received 100 mg anthocyanin pills, and the second group received 100 mg placebo pills, daily for 6 weeks. Participants asked to continue their routine diet and physical activity during the study period, and they were followed through phone calls or text messages.
Results: Soft lean mass, total body water and percent body fat were not changed significantly in the anthocyanin group after intervention but VO2 max increased significantly in the anthocyanin group (48.65 ± 4.73 vs. 52.62 ± 5.04) (P ≤ 0.0001), also a significant difference was observed between two studied groups (52.62 ± 5.04 for intervention group vs. 49.61 ± 5.33 for placebo) (P = 0.003).
Conclusions: Our findings suggested that the supplementation with anthocyanin in athletes may improve some indices of performance such as VO2 max.
Keywords: Anthocyanin; athletes; body composition; exercise performance; muscle damage.