Polyphenol-rich extracts may improve physical performance during exercise: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

The exercise protocol consisted of bouts of all-out intensity cycling. Image © iStock/Pixel_away
The exercise protocol consisted of bouts of all-out intensity cycling. Image © iStock/Pixel_away
A polyphenol-rich combination of extracts from grape, pomegranate and green tea may boost power and performance during high-intensity, says a new study.

Researchers report that a pre-workout dose of the polyphenol-rich formulation PerfLoad (Fytexia, France) resulted in a 5% increase in total aerobic work capacity and a 3.7% increase in maximal peak power output.

“This prospective clinical investigation on PerfLoad demonstrates that a natural and safe supplement is undoubtedly able to, similarly to training benefits, help improve metabolic and physiological pathways involved in the development of maximum metabolic power during high-intensity exercise,” ​wrote the researchers in Nutrients​.

“Indeed, supplementation is associated with a significant increase in total power output, maximal peak power output, and average power developed, without inducing either more fatigue or greater heart rate.

“The basis for the efficiency of the supplement appears to be the synergistic activity of bioactive natural compounds, mainly polyphenols and caffeine from the three botanical extracts.”

Fytexia funded the study.

Study details

Led by Fytexia’s Dr Julien Cases, the researcher recruited 15 recreationally-active sportsmen to participate in their randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Participants were randomly assigned to consume a 900 mg dose of PerfLoad or placebo prior to high-intensity anaerobic exercise.

Results showed that the polyphenol-rich formulation was associated with 876 increase in total anaerobic work capacity, which was equivalent to a 5% increase.

The supplement was also associated with a 3.7% increase in maximal peak power output and a 5% increase in the average power developed. Blood pressure was significant lower post-exercise following PerfLoad supplementation, compared to the control intervention, while improvements in the activity of the antioxidant enzyme SOD were also recorded one hour post-exercise following the active supplement.

“Such results demonstrated that PerfLoad is a natural and efficient solution capable of, similarly to training benefits, helping athletes to improve their physical performance, while balancing their metabolism and reducing exercise-induced oxidative stress,”​ wrote the researchers.

Endothelial function

“[I]t appears that some of these polyphenols are linked to improved endothelial function,” ​they wrote. “[…] further investigations will have to be conducted […] to elucidate the relationship between the bioavailability of polyphenol metabolites from PerfLoad supplementation and flow-mediated dilation, and especially its effects on stroke volume and the functionality of capillaries.”

The study authors were affiliated with Fytexia, UCAM Universidad Católica de Murcia, the University of Montpellier, and Laboratoires Spiral.

Source: Nutrients
2017, 9(4), 421; doi:10.3390/nu9040421
“Supplementation with a Polyphenol-Rich Extract, PerfLoad, Improves Physical Performance during High-Intensity Exercise: A Randomized, Double Blind, Crossover Trial”
Authors: J. Cases et al.

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