Pycnogenol, the patented extract from French Maritime Bark, has been shown to offer numerous health benefits, including helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, blood sugar and immune health. Now a recent study has indicated another strong benefit for this antioxidant: improving athletic performance and exercise recovery.
Although Pycnogenol has been investigated for use in fitness and athletics previously, and recommended in the past, the clinical trials these recommendations are based on have been relatively limited in their scale. This more recent study involves not only a group 54 triathletes, but also 147 recreational athletes, indicating that Pycnogenol offers benefits at all levels of fitness and lifestyle.
In the first study, 147 recreational athletes were randomly assigned at to receive either no supplementation or supplementation with Pycnogenol for a total of eight weeks. As a measurement of physical performance, the Army Physical Fitness Test—or APFT—was used to assess muscular strength, endurance and cardiovascular performance. Results showed significantly greater improvement in the Pycnogenol-supplemented group.
The second study specifically involved experienced triathletes for a period of four weeks. Again, assignment was random, with half of the 54 athletes receiving 150 mg of Pycnogenol daily while the other half took no supplementation.
Once again, subjects receiving Pycnogenol performed substantially better, with their total times for completion for a 100-minute triathlon improving an average of 10.8 minutes, as opposed to 4.6 minutes in the control group. For such athletes, performing that much better in a competition can make the difference between winning and possibly failing to place.
In the words of Dr. Gianni Belarco, lead researcher: “Pycnogenol, along with good training and proper nutrition, may help to significantly improve physical fitness and reduce oxidative stress and muscular pain in both those who exercise regularly and triathletes.”
For anyone making their health and fitness a priority with regular exercise, the potential benefits offered by Pycnogenol make it a great ally for success.
Article by: Sean Wells