Effect of pomegranate juice following exercise

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, determined if pomegranate juice improved the recovery of skeletal muscle strength after eccentric exercise in subjects who routinely performed resistance training.

Eccentric exercise causes muscles to lengthen while lower a weight.

First, the details.

  • 17 resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to take each treatment — crossover design.
    • Pomegranate juice
    • Placebo
  • To produce delayed onset muscle soreness, the participants performed 3 sets of 20 unilateral eccentric elbow flexion and 6 sets of 10 unilateral eccentric knee extension exercises.
  • Strength and muscle soreness were measured at the start of the study, and 2, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 168 hours after exercise.
    • Isometric refers to training in which the joint angle and muscle length don’t change during contraction.

And, the results.

  • Elbow flexion strength was significantly higher during the 2- to 168-hour period postexercise with pomegranate juice vs placebo.
  • Elbow flexor muscle soreness was also significantly reduced with pomegranate juice vs placebo and at 48 and 72 hours postexercise.
  • Isometric strength and muscle soreness in the knee extensors were not significantly different with pomegranate juice vs placebo.

The bottom line.

The authors concluded, “Supplementation with pomegranate juice attenuates weakness and reduces soreness of the elbow flexor but not of knee extensor muscles.”

“These results,” continue the authors, “indicate a mild, acute ergogenic effect [external influences that enhance performance] of pomegranate juice in the elbow flexor muscles of resistance trained individuals after eccentric exercise.”

A PubMed search revealed no similar studies.

6/13/11 22:35 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.