Some new research on Blackcurrant supplementation is shown below in a Press Release from Curranz. You can quickly see in the summary, below, that we are talking about potentially significant increases in cardiovascular function in relation to performance and recovery.
Along with caffeine and beetroot juice, blackcurrant extract is what I would ‘use for a race’. If it was a ‘special’ race then I would consider also several natural, legal/non-prescription substances for lactate buffering such as phosphates and bicarbonates. These would all be for the purpose of performance. If I didn’t think they worked I wouldn’t take them.
When it comes to training then, personally, I would only use curranz and caffeine tablets for hard sessions. I’d use caffeine for the performace effect and the curranz would be more for it’s recovery purposes than for performance; although there would be a performance benefit as well from the curranz.
I would image that competitive athletes will be using these supplements continuously on a daily basis.
Continuous daily use is going to be at least $/£2/day which soon adds up to ‘quite a lot’, so I wouldn’t do that.
Returning to curranz, the stated athletic dose on the bottle is:
1x 300mg capsule 2 hours before the activity. I’d go with that.
The research, below, looks at the effect of 1-3 tablets per day, loading over a 7-day period. I would point out that when I take 3 tablets in a 24 hour period there are ‘potential digestive issues’…4 might have undesirable effects on me! and I have a robust dietary constitution.
Fleur Cushman, at curranz, pointed out to me that this research was mostly focussed on recovery benefits but my take would also be that increases in stroke volume will probably indicate performance gains as well.
So I will now modify my loading strategy to 2 tablets a day for the entire week leading up to a race.
Putting this sort of thing into perspective:You are probably an age group athlete, maybe a triathlete looking for marginal gains. You should be really looking at the normal gains first but having said that, the marginal gains from 1 curranz tablet (at about £/$/Eu1) will be MUCH greater than those from a special latex inner tube for your TT bike, in my opinion. If you are in my age group, please don’t take them 😉
This product is available directly from the manufacturer (here). as of October 2019 there is a ‘special’ subscription rate of about £20/month. Once that offer ends then they should reinstate this coupon/promo code RUNCURRANZ at 15% (here) – applied automatically on checkout:
Study shows New Zealand Blackcurrant extract increases cardiovascular responses: Implications for athletes and patient groups
Short-duration supplementation with New Zealand blackcurrant extract increases blood volume pumped by 28% and boosts circulation by 20%
New Zealand Blackcurrant’s effect on blood volume pumped may enhance post-exercise recovery in athletes
Berry extract may be beneficial for clinical populations affected by impaired circulation
Experts confirm study’s ‘impressive’ findings for blackcurrant, which is tipped to be ‘the new beetroot’ on the British Superfood scene
A STUDY by the University of Chichester reveals how athletes supplemented with New Zealand blackcurrant extract improved cardiovascular responses.
The research, published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology (here to view), demonstrated a moderate-to-large dose-response effect in trained male cyclists.
The peer-reviewed study reveals an important insight as to how blackcurrant extract supplementation can offer a natural, nutritional strategy for improving the recovery of athletes.
The data adds weight to the Telegraph newspaper’s prediction (story, January 2) that blackcurrant supplements will become the ‘new beetroot’ in the sports nutrition market, with the potential to take centre stage as a Superfood in 2017.
Additionally, the research suggests blackcurrants may benefit population groups that suffer from restricted blood flow, such as the elderly. THE STUDY SHOWED: The heart pumped more blood – Cardiac output increased by 28%, without an increase in heart rate Increased blood flow – A 20% reduction in total peripheral resistance of the body’s blood vessels, indicating less stress on the cardiovascular network Increased stroke volume – The amount of blood pumped by each stroke of the heart increased by 18%
Fifteen male cyclists were supplemented with the drug-tested New Zealand blackcurrant extract, marketed as CurraNZ in the UK, for seven days, at doses of 300mg, 600mg and 900mg. Their cardiovascular function was tested over 20 minutes, while lying down. The biggest responses were achieved with the 900mg dose:
Total Peripheral Resistance
Professor: ‘It’s meaningful to see changes to cardiovascular responses in highly trained individuals’ Mark Willems, Professor of Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester (pictured, left), says:
“We knew from a previous study that blackcurrant has an effect on cardiovascular function. However these findings were still surprising because of increases at the higher doses.
“We used highly trained individuals with conditioned systems, so if you can influence cardiovascular responses in systems that are already highly trained, then that’s meaningful.
“These findings show that blackcurrant extract is affecting the blood vessel system due to dilation, meaning there is less resistance and more blood being pumped around the body.
“Our findings indicate a clear application for athletes recovering from exercise. If you can enhance blood flow to muscles that were active following exercise then that is beneficial for recovery.”
Blackcurrant compounds relax blood vessels, meaning they reduce the tension in blood vessel walls, causing the diameter of the blood vessel to widen, resulting in enhanced blood flow.
The use of blackcurrant anthocyanins may also represent an important clinical breakthrough for circulatory disorders that cost the NHS billions every year.
Dr Simon Woldman, cardiologist at University College London Hospital and a specialist in heart failure, says of the findings:
“Clearly this could be very important and now requires a study to look at the impact on patients who may benefit.” Wide-ranging effects in athletes show NZ Blackcurrants also improve running performance in elite footballers
Blackcurrants have been coming under the spotlight for their emerging impact on health and fitness and are being tipped as a new leading Superfood for British consumers.
Since 2014, UK sports research has been highlighting their wide-ranging effects of New Zealand blackcurrants on performance, recovery and fat burning, a combination thought unique to the berry.
The use of New Zealand blackcurrant extract for recovery and performance is now developing a growing reputation among UK fitness lovers and athletes for its noticeable effects.
The berry’s influence is now reaching Premiership rugby and football clubs, with the latest performance study highlighting how blackcurrants significantly improve running performance in elite footballers, ( press release)Leading Scottish scientist: “These are impressive results”
Dr Derek Stewart of the James Hutton Institute in Scotland (pictured, below), who specializes in crop research, describes these findings as ‘impressive’.
Having spent many years researching blackcurrants for their health benefits, he says: “Professor Willems has presented some impressive results here.
“These studies with athletes highlight the benefits of consumption of blackcurrant and specifically the anthocyanins with a positive dose response effect on resting cardiovascular function, such as improved blood output volume and reduced peripheral resistance (essentially back pressure in vascular network).
“These studies add further weight to the wealth of data supporting the positive health benefits associated with the intake of blackcurrant and its associated products.”
Anna Tier, Manager of the New Zealand Blackcurrant Association, confirms the importance of the findings:
“These positive results continue to build on the top quality research being done on New Zealand Blackcurrants in the UK, New Zealand and Japan, and it is very encouraging to see that the broader benefits of our remarkable berries are being recognised and supported by science.” Read the paper: Cardiovascular Function During Supine Rest in Endurance-Trained Males with New Zealand Blackcurrant: A Dose-Response Study
This content is not sponsored. It's mostly me behind the labour of love which is this site, meaning it's entirely reader-powered content ❤️ I'd really appreciate it if you'd follow, subscribe or Buy Me A Coffee ❤️ Alternatively please buy the reviewed product from my partners (which costs you no extra) and, for that, I receive a small commission. Thank you!