The other key to feeling good enough the next day to do it all again is to ensure that levels of lactate in muscle cells are back to normal. Lactate is produced when muscle cells convert glucose to energy required for exercise or sports. Lactate is then transported out of the muscle cells into the blood where it is transported to the liver to be converted back to glucose. Accumulation of lactate in muscle cells compromises muscle contraction, performance and recovery after exercise. The more rapidly lactate can be removed from muscle cells the quicker and more compete the recovery from exercise will be.
In a study of thirteen runners exercising to exhaustion levels of lactate in the blood immediately after exercise were 15% higher when the runners consumed blackcurrant supplement extract compared to when they consumed a placebo(1). This indicates that blackcurrant is increasing the rate of transport of lactate out of the muscle cells and into the blood. Muscle fatigue after exercise has been shown to be decreased in subjects who have consumed a blackcurrant supplement, compared to when they consumed a placebo(2).
In addition trained triathletes consuming blackcurrant nutritional supplement powder showed a 26% increase in cardiac output and a 16% increase in peripheral blood flow after a period of intense cycling(3). These increases in cardiac output and blood flow to the muscles following exercise will ensure removal of lactate from muscles and that lactate levels will return to normal as quickly as possible, ensuring rapid recovery.
1. New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Improves High-Intensity Intermittent Running. Perkins IC, Vine SA, Blackler SD, Willems ME. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab (2015) 25: 487-493.
2. Effects of blackcurrant anthocyanin intake on peripheral muscle circulation during typing work in humans. Matsumoto H, Takenami E, Iwasaki-Kurashige K, Osada T, Katsumura T, Hamaoka T. Eur J Appl Physiol (2005) 94: 36-45.
3. Beneficial Physiological Effects With Blackcurrant Intake in Endurance Athletes. Willems ME, Myers SD, Gault ML, Cook MD. Int J Sports Nutr Exerc Metab (2015) 25: 367-374.