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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2019 Mar 28;11(4):721.
doi: 10.3390/nu11040721.

Pomegranate Extract Improves Maximal Performance of Trained Cyclists After an Exhausting Endurance Trial: A Randomised Controlled Trial

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Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Pomegranate Extract Improves Maximal Performance of Trained Cyclists After an Exhausting Endurance Trial: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Antonio Torregrosa-García et al. Nutrients. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The efficacy of pomegranate (Punica granatum) extract (PE) for improving performance and post-exercise recovery in an active population was equivocal in previous studies. In this study, a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, balanced, cross-over trial with two arms was conducted. Eligibility criteria for participants were as follows: male, amateur cyclist, with a training routine of 2 to 4 sessions per week (at least one hour per session). The cyclists (n = 26) were divided into treatment (PE) and placebo (PLA) groups for a period of 15 days. After physical tests, the groups were exchanged after a 14-day washout period. Exercise tests consisted of endurance bouts (square-wave endurance exercise test followed by an incremental exercise test to exhaustion) and an eccentric exercise drill. The objective was to assess the efficacy of PE in performance outcomes and post-exercise muscular recovery and force restoration after a prolonged submaximal effort. Twenty-six participants were included for statistical analysis. There was a statistically significant difference in total time to exhaustion (TTE)(17.66⁻170.94 s, p < 0.02) and the time to reach ventilatory threshold 2 (VT2)(26.98⁻82.55 s, p < 0.001), with greater values for the PE compared to the PLA group. No significant results were obtained for force restoration in the isokinetic unilateral low limb test. PE, after a prolonged submaximal effort, may be effective in improving performance outcomes at maximal effort and might help to restore force in the damaged muscles.

Keywords: antioxidants; delayed onset muscle soreness; exercise performance; muscle recovery; pomegranate; sports nutrition.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Scheme 1
Scheme 1
Eccentric exercise drill. The first picture (a) represents the initial position while (b) is the end position. The first sequence of the exercise consisted of moving from (a) to (b) and had to be performed in 1 s. Then, the initial position had to be recovered within 4 additional seconds. Both movements were considered to be 1 repetition. Pictures by © Everkinetic/http://everkinetic.com/, from the Wikimedia Commons project and distributed under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 license.
Scheme 2
Scheme 2
Experimental design. Acronyms are defined as follows; SWEET: square-wave endurance exercise test, VO2max: maximum oxygen consumption, IETE: incremental exercise test to exhaustion, CK: creatine kinase, CRP: C-reactive protein. Pictures by © Everkinetic/http://everkinetic.com/, from the Wikimedia Commons project and distributed under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 license. Icons made by Freepik from www.freepik.com and Pixelmeetup from www.flaticon.com.
Figure 1
Figure 1
Participant flow diagram of the crossover design. Every group received both treatments (15 days of supplementation) separated by 14 days of washout.

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