Recent studies have shown that the rich nutrient and antioxidant content of blueberries can counteract the negative effects the body undergoes during exercise
- Adding blueberries to your diet could help get the most out of your workout
- Blueberries provide nutrients and phytochemicals that may help to lower oxidative stress, muscle soreness and inflammation from exercise
Exercise has many positive effects on both the body and mind. However, a downside is that increased physical activity induces oxidative stress, inflammation, and muscle soreness.
Studies have found that strenuous muscular workouts can oxidative stress levels1, which is when there is an excess of free radicals over antioxidant defences.
Markers of inflammation can also increase during strenuous exercise which may contribute to the wear-and-tear of skeletal muscles2. It is important to control the level of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body as they can cause a variety of harmful age-related diseases including Alzheimer’s to develop3.
Blueberries provide an array of nutrients and phytochemicals that have been linked to reductions in oxidative stress and inflammation.2
Recognised worldwide as a ‘superfood’, blueberries are a complex carbohydrate which can help the body sustain energy. They are also rich in antioxidants which can help to boost the recovery period after your workout.
The antioxidants found in blueberries can help to prevent free-radical damage to the muscles and strengthen the tissue – allowing you to get the most out of your fitness regime.
A new scientific paper published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health4 has reviewed articles looking at dietary supplementation with oral antioxidants, which included those from berries.
Authors concluded that supplementation with blueberries (before or during a bout of exercise) reduced oxidation. Larger studies using more people and specific muscular strength exercises are now needed to build on these findings.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, public health nutritionist and adviser to Love Fresh Berries commented: “Fitness is central to health and wellbeing. Excessive training can, however, sometimes leave us feeling sore and contribute to a state of ‘oxidative stress’. This is a natural process but in excess can contribute to muscle damage.
“Certain dietary and lifestyle strategies may help to dampen this. Blueberries are renowned for their potent antioxidant profiles so could be a logical and useful way to help soothe and alleviate exercise-induced oxidative stress.”
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About British Berry Growers
British Berry Growers is the industry body for the British berry industry, which is worth £1.69 billion to the UK economy. Its members supply 95 percent of the berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries) in UK supermarkets. Formerly known as British Summer Fruits, British Berry Growers directs world-leading berry research, represents the interests of berry growers to Government and funds Love Fresh Berries, a year-round consumer campaign that celebrates the taste, health and value of British berries
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