Welcome to our weekly summary of the latest research from the world of sports nutrition.
Cranberry Supplementation Improves Performance in Trained Runners
This study examined the impact of cranberry extract supplementation on the performance of trained runners. Cranberries are known for their high polyphenol and antioxidant content, and were hypothesized to enhance performance by mitigating exercise-induced free radical production. Researchers tested 14 runners at baseline, after a single dose and following four weeks of daily supplementation, and found indications of improved recovery. It appeared that chronic cranberry extract intake improved aerobic performance in a 1500-meter race by enhancing muscle re-oxygenation rates and by buffering lactate response after a 400-meter race. These findings suggest that regular cranberry supplementation may provide ergogenic benefits that improve physiological performance markers in short- and long-distance running scenarios.
Our Thoughts: Eating cranberries daily may improve your endurance performance, which is great news if you like cranberries.
Beta-alanine and Carnosine May Play a Role in Slowing Aging
This study explored how beta-alanine and carnosine, a compound formed from beta-alanine and histidine, may combat aging. Carnosine is crucial for maintaining muscle buffering capacity and averting muscle decline as we age, and it serves as an antioxidant, counteracting the buildup of harmful molecules in our bodies. Declining levels of carnosine with age lead to reduced muscle buffering capacity, which can contribute to muscle issues over time. Supplementation with beta-alanine helps replenish carnosine levels, offering benefits like improved muscle function and a potentially lower risk of degenerative diseases. Additionally, carnosine exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and may contribute to skin health, intestinal integrity and cognitive function, highlighting its potential as an anti-aging intervention.
Our Thoughts: While not training-related, this study highlights beta-alanine’s potential impact on the body as we age.
Sports Science Journals Don’t Always Publish Negative Findings
This study looked into whether there's bias in sports science research on substances or methods that might improve athletic performance, known as ergogenic aids. The researchers found that journals tend to favour publishing studies with positive results while often overlooking those with negative findings, creating a gap between what is reported and what actually happens in the studies. They also discovered inconsistencies between what is reported in the studies and the actual results regarding performance improvements. These findings suggest a need for more balanced reporting of both positive and negative results in sports science research to ensure the reliability of evidence in the field.
Our Thoughts: The public should have access to more data about supplement ingredients that don’t work since it helps companies like Blonyx decide what products to provide or not provide, and it helps athletes decide what to take or not take.