Grape extracts tend to be marketed on their heart health benefits, but with Powergrape, the French supplier is concentrating on the sports market. The Bordeaux grape extract is sold on its power to improve recovery and boost energy and performance levels.
Naturex said a new study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine demonstrates the ability of Powergrape to improve the antioxidant status and performance of top athletes.
Top sportspeople were the target of the study because they overproduce potentially harmful reactive oxygen species during periods of intense physical activity.
A total of 20 athletes from the sporting worlds of handball, basketball, sprint, and volleyball took part in the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.
They were all given a daily dose of 400mg of Powergrape for one month. And then at the end of the month researchers tested whether the grape extract had improved anti-oxidative status and oxidative stress, and physical performance during competition.
Scientists found improvements in the antioxidant status of the body measured by Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) and Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) methods. A reduction in oxidative stress was also observed.
Naturex said cell damage in muscle and plasma reduced during physical exercise. Scientists said this was suggested by a decrease of creatine phosphokinase (CpK) and an increase of hemoglobin concentrations in plasma.
Physical performance improved among handball players who made up half of the sample but there was high variability between the sporting disciplines.
Naturex said the findings call for further studies to confirm the efficacy and mechanisms of action of grape extract on elite and occasional athletes.
Source: Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Volume 8, Pages 468-480
“Grape extract improves antioxidant status and physical performance in elite male athletes”
Authors: S. Lafay, C. Jan, K. Nardon, B. Lemaire, A. Ibarra, M. Roller, M. Houvenaeghel, C. Juhel, L. Cara