Effect of green tea extract supplementation on exercise-induced delayed onset muscle soreness and muscular damage

Physiol Behav. 2018 Oct 1:194:77-82. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.05.006. Epub 2018 May 7.


Previous studies addressed the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory role of compounds from green tea in different human tissues. Positive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects were described for brain tissues. Whether similar effects are observed in the skeletal muscle, green tea supplementation could be a strategy to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness resultant of exercise. Here we determine the effect of green tea extract supplementation on exercise-induced muscle soreness, muscle damage and oxidative stress. We performed a randomized triple blind placebo control study. Twenty non-trained men performed sessions of exercise to induce delayed onset muscle soreness in the triceps sural muscle group before and after 15 days of supplementation (500 mg/day) with green tea extract (n = 10) or a placebo (n = 10). Muscle soreness was evaluated using a visual scale. Blood samples were taken at different moments to determine serum blood markers of muscle damage, oxidative stress and antioxidant status. We found that exercise induced delayed onset muscle soreness. Supplementation reduced muscle damage but muscle soreness did not change. Plasma oxidative damage marker and antioxidant status did not show an effect of supplementation. As a conclusion, green tea extract supplementation did not reduce the sensation of delayed onset muscle soreness but reduces the marker of muscle damage after exercise. It suggests the green tea extract supplementation has positive effects on muscle recovery after strenuous exercise.

Keywords: Camellia sinensis; Eccentric exercise; Exercise recovery; Fatigue; Polyphenols.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / blood
  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise*
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Myalgia / prevention & control*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pain Measurement
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / blood
  • Serum / metabolism
  • Tea*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tea
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Glutathione