Background/objective: High intensity eccentric exercise causes muscle damage. Polyphenol supplementation is one nutritional intervention available to limit muscle damage, but there is a lack of published data concerning the use of polyphenol-rich grape seed extract (GSE). This study investigated the effect of acute GSE supplementation on muscle damage markers after eccentric exercise.
Methods: Sixteen healthy male university students (mean age: 20.3 ± 0.4 years, height: 176.1 ± 4.7 cm, weight: 69.9 ± 10.2 kg) were included. Participants were randomly assigned to GSE group (n = 8) or placebo group (n = 8); 300 mg/day of GSE or placebo was consumed from the time of eccentric exercise to 72 h after exercise. For the eccentric exercise, the elbow flexor muscle was activated using a modified preacher curl machine at 25 repetitions for 2 sets. For the muscle damage markers, maximal muscle strength, muscle soreness, and creatine kinase (CK) level were measured.
Results: There was no difference in maximal muscle strength and muscle soreness between groups in the recovery stage after eccentric exercise (p > 0.05); CK level, a marker of cell membrane damage, was significantly decreased 96 h after exercise in the GSE group compared with the placebo group (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Acute GSE supplement can be an effective way to decrease cellular membrane damage after eccentric exercise. These results could be helpful in the application of GSE supplementation as a nutritional intervention to reduce muscle damage after high intensity strength training, especially in the early stage of a new strength training program. However, a larger scale study is necessary to validate these results.
Keywords: Creatine kinase; Eccentric exercise; Grape seed extract; Muscle damage.