Background: Affective responses experienced during exercise are a significant determinant on exercise adherence. We have previously demonstrated that consumption of New Zealand (NZ) blackcurrants preserves cognition by attenuating the feeling of fatigue. This positive affective response correlated with the ability of blackcurrant polyphenols to support monoamine neurotransmission via inhibition of monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) activity. Here we explore how the consumption of a NZ blackcurrant juice (BJ) influenced affective responses and potential ergogenic action on the motivation to adhere to a low impact walking exercise.
Methods: In a parallel randomized controlled study (Trial registration #: ACTRN12617000319370p, registered 28th February 2017, http://www.anzctr.org.au/ ), 40 healthy sedentary male and female participants drank a BJ or matched placebo (PLA) (n = 20 per group), 1 h prior to a self-motivated treadmill walk, where heart rate and affective responses (exertion [ES] or feeling / mood [FS]) scores) were recorded at 3 or 5 min intervals. Blood glucose, lactate, malondialdehyde (MDA) and platelet MAO-B activity were measured pre- and post-exercise and comparisons were conducted using with Student's t-tests. Subjective data were analysed using 2-way ANOVA with appropriate post hoc tests.
Results: Consuming a BJ 1 h prior to exercise caused a 90% decline in platelet MAO-B activity. The exercise had no significant (p > 0.05) effect on blood lactate, glucose or plasma MDA levels. Assessment of affective responses over the first 60 mins (adjusting for participant drop-out) revealed a time-dependent ES increase in both groups, with ES reported by participants in the BJ group consistently lower than those in the PLA group (p < 0.05). FS declined in PLA and BJ groups over 60 mins, but an inverse relationship with ES was only observed within the PLA group (r2 = 0.99, p = 0.001). Whilst the average time walked by participants in the BJ group was 11 mins longer than the PLA group (p = 0.3), and 30% of the BJ group achieving > 10 km compared to only 10% for the PLA group (p = 0.28), statistical significance was not achieved.
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that drinking a polyphenolic-rich NZ blackcurrant juice 1 h prior to exercise supports positive affective responses during a self-motivated exercise.
Keywords: Affective response; Blackcurrant polyphenols; Monoamine oxidase-B activity; Self-motivated exercise; Timed efficacy.