Effect of Blueberry on Reducing Muscle Damage After Strenuous Exercise
Strenuous exercise can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. This is driven, in part, by local inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscle tissue. Blueberry supplementation may reduce the damage that occurs at the molecular level, minimizing soreness and reduction in muscle performance. (1) Blueberry is rich in antioxidants. Also, it is a great source of Vitamin C and carbohydrates (2), and has a much higher anthocyanin concentration. (3) According to studies, blueberry demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. (4) Blueberry may help improve rate of recovery and could be added as part of the diet regimen of athletes and exercisers. (2)
A study was conducted to test the effect of blueberry consumption on recovery from eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). The results of this study was published in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2012.
In this randomized cross-over study, 10 females consumed a blueberry smoothie or placebo of a similar antioxidant capacity 5 and 10 hours prior to and then immediately, 12 and 36 hours after EIMD.
This study demonstrates that the ingestion of a blueberry smoothie prior to and after EIMD accelerates recovery of muscle peak isometric strength. This effect, although independent of the beverage’s inherent antioxidant capacity, appears to involve an up-regulation of adaptive processes, i.e. endogenous antioxidant processes, activated by the combined actions of the eccentric exercise and blueberry consumption. These findings may benefit the sporting community who should consider dietary interventions that specifically target health and performance adaptation. (4)
Blueberry is rich in antioxidants. Also, it is a great source of Vitamin C and carbohydrates, and has a much higher anthocyanin concentration. Strenuous exercise can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue, which are resulted from local inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscle tissue; Blueberry demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Key Words: Blueberry, Increasing Antioxidant Activity, Anti-Inflammatory
1- 10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries#section3
2- Poladian, Ch. (2012, May 29). Blueberries Help Improve Muscle Recovery in Athletes. Medical Daily. Retrieved from http://www.medicaldaily.com/blueberries-help-improve-muscle-recovery-athletes-240610
3- E. Behrens, Ch. (2016). The Effect of 6-Weeks Daily Blueberry Powder Ingestion on Plasma Antioxidant Capacity and Oxidative Damage in Relationship to Sarcopenia. Nutrition and Healthcare Management, Retrieved from https://libres.uncg.edu/ir/asu/f/Behrens,%20Christian_2016_Thesis.pdf
4- McLeay, Y., J.Barnes, M., Mundel, T., M.Hurst, S., D.Hurst, R., & R.Stannard, S. (2012). Effect of New Zealand Blueberry Consumption on Recovery from Eccentric Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9:19. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583121/