Pomegranate Supplementation Accelerates Recovery of Muscle Damage and Soreness and Inflammatory Markers after a Olympic Weightlifting Training Session
Study Design: randomized double blind crossover
Author Information Achraf Ammar, Mouna Turki, Hamdi Chtourou, Omar Hammouda
Research Unit: Education, Motricité, Sport et Santé, UR15JS01, High Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Sfax, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia.
Institute of Sport Science, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.
Pomegranates are rich in vitamins, essential minerals, and polyphenols. As one of the most nutrient dense fruits in the entire fruit ecosystem, studies have shown that pomegranates may benefit a wide modalities of training protocols, due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory capabilities, and nitrate content. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of natural Pomegranate juice supplementation on performance and acute and delayed responses of muscle soreness and biomarkers of muscle damage after a weightlifting training session.
Nine elite weightlifters (21±0.5 years) performed two Olympic-Weightlifting-sessions after either placebo (PLA) or natural pomegranate juice (POMj) supplementations. Participants were required to have more than 3 years of OLY weightlifting experience, no past injuries, and had to stop any use of antioxidants or anti-inflammatory drugs, 30 days before and during trial. Heart rate, blood pressure and blood samples (hematological parameters, muscle damage and C-reactive protein (CRP)) were collected at rest, 3min and 48h after each session. Weightlifting performance, Rate Of Perceived Exertion (RPE), and DOMS were also assessed after each training session. Each training session included three Olympic-Weightlifting exercises: snatch, clean and jerk, and squat for a total of 5 sets, at 85 and 90% of 1-RM max.
Statistical tests showed higher performance (+8.30%), maximum load lifted by 3.26% and lower RPE values (-4.37%) using 500 mg pomegranate supplementation (p<0.05) in comparison with placebo. With a significant DOMS improvement of (13.4%). Compared to placebo, pomegranate supplementation attenuated the acute increase of systolic blood pressure.
Natural POMj seems to ameliorate the capacity to adhere to an intensive training program. Therefore, elite weightlifters are advised to use natural POMj during intensive training program and competition to accelerate muscle recovery.