Improved Endurance Running Performance Following Haskap Berry (Lonicera caerulea L.) Ingestion
Snaith, Gemma C.
Keane, Karen K.
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Background: Food high in (poly)phenolic compounds, such as anthocyanins, have the potential to improve exercise recovery and exercise performance. Haskap berries are rich in anthocyanins, but no research has examined the potential to improve human performance. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of Haskap berry on parameters of endurance running performance. Methods: Using a double-blind, placebo controlled, independent groups design, 30 male recreational runners (mean ± SD age, 33 ± 7 years; stature, 178.2 ± 7.2 cm; mass, 77.7 ± 10.6 kg; V˙O2peak, 52.2 ± 6.6 mL/kg/min) volunteered to participate. Following familiarisation, volunteers visited the laboratory twice (separated by seven days) to assess submaximal, maximal and 5 km time trial running performance. After the first visit, volunteers were randomly assigned to consume either the Haskap berry intervention or an isocaloric placebo control. Results: There were modest changes in heart rate and V˙O2 at submaximal intensities (p < 0.05). Time to exhaustion during the V˙O2peak test was longer in the Haskap group by 20 s (p = 0.031). Additionally, 5 km time trial performance was improved in the Haskap group by ~21 s (p = 0.016), which equated to a 0.25 km/h increase in mean running speed compared to the placebo control; this represented a >2% improvement in running performance. Conclusions: The application of this newly identified functional food to athletes has the capacity to improve endurance running performance.
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