Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is associated with increases in acute inflammatory and biochemical markers, muscle swelling, pain, and reduced functional performance. This study aimed to investigate the preventative effects of crocodile blood supplementation on DOMS induced by eccentric exercise. Sixteen healthy males were randomly allocated to either a crocodile blood (CB, n = 8) or a placebo (PL, n = 8) treatment. Participants receiving the CB treatment consumed four capsules of freeze-dried CB powder (1 g day-1) over 18 days. Participants receiving the other treatment were administered a placebo over the same period. An eccentric exercise protocol was performed, and functional performance, visual analogue scale (VAS)-measured pain, knee range of movement (ROM), thigh circumference (swelling), and cytokines, enzymes, and biochemical parameters were assessed immediately after exercise as well as after 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h. CB supplementation could significantly maintain maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) at 24 h (p = 0.001) and 48 h after exercise (p = 0.001) when comparing values at different times for the CB group. In the CB group, thigh circumference decreased only immediately after eccentric exercise (p = 0.031) in comparison with pre-eccentric exercise values. An 18-day supplementation (1 g day-1) of crocodile blood does aid in the maintenance of functional performance and muscle swelling after eccentric exercise. Our data indicate that 1 g day-1 of crocodile blood supplementation should be safe for human consumption.
Keywords: DOMS; crocodile blood; eccentric exercise.