The Power Of Pomegranate
16 January 2019
Wednesday Wisdom with Sarah Trimble Nutrition from Framar Health, providing expert nutritional advice & recipes to help support your marathon training.
THE POWER OF POMEGRANATE
- Pomegranate, once considered an exotic fruit is becoming more and more widely available. It is notoriously tricky to extract the jewel-like seeds from the fruit and a number of supermarkets now sell the seeds ready prepared, both fresh and frozen. However, it is the juice that is extracted from these seeds that has been shown to provide real health benefits.
- Like all brightly coloured fruit and vegetables pomegranates are rich in naturally occurring compounds called phenols. Phenols are present in all plants, however, pomegranates contain such a variety of beneficial compounds at such high concentrations that they have been widely studied for their potential health benefits particularly in sports nutrition.
- Pomegranates contain substances called nitrites and anthocyanins (the compounds that give pomegranates their deep red colour) – these substances are known vasodilators – meaning they support the widening of blood vessels. The widening of blood vessels is considered very important in sports nutrition because it ensures that sufficient oxygen is supplied to muscles to support exercise. When more oxygen is supplied to muscles we can exercise for longer and we are less likely to experience lactic acid build up, which can lead to cramping and muscle fatigue.
- In one clinical study consumption of pomegranate extract 30 minutes before a running trial resulted in increased time to exhaustion and improved blood flow to muscles. The study subjects also reported greater feelings of vitality after consuming pomegranate extract.
- A review of the various studies into the benefits of pomegranate concluded that pomegranate juice and extract can improve endurance and performance during exercise while also enhancing post exercise recovery. However, it is essential that the pomegranate is ingested within 60 minutes before exercise.
- The evidence suggests that consumption of a pomegranate extract or juice can support marathon training and race day performance. So how do we use it?
- Add pomegranate seeds to your breakfast porridge or muesli or sprinkle over salads at lunchtime. However to experience the benefits reported in the research a concentrated pomegranate juice is ideal.
- ACTIVE EDGE concentrated pomegranate juice contains the equivalent of the juice of 2 pomegranates in each serving – it can be diluted in water or added to smoothies.
Effects of pomegranate supplementation on exercise performance and post-exercise recovery in healthy adults: A systematic review Ammar A et al. Br J Nutr 2018
The effects of pomegranate extract on blood flow and running time to exhaustion Trexler ET et al Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2014