Everyone knows that stretching can aid muscle recovery after a match. What fewer people know is that eating a pomegranate – or, more specifically, drinking pomegranate juice – can ease those post-game aches too.
In a bid to pin down the optimum post-exercise recovery, drink researchers from the University of Texas have found that the juice of pomegranates give the best results when it comes to reducing muscle soreness.
As part of their study, exercisers drank 250ml of pomegranate juice every day for a 15-day trial period and performed a series of muscle drills to measure how the juice affected recovery times when compared to a placebo.
“The initial findings are very encouraging,” says Mayur Ranchordas, sports nutritionist at Sheffield Hallam University. “Research already shows that out of all fruits, pomegranate contains the highest amount of antioxidants.”
When you play sports your body produces ‘free radicals’ that damage body tissue, but antioxidants combat this, reducing the harm done to your muscles and enabling them to recover faster.
“Both pomegranate juice and cherry juice are showing good results in tests so far,” adds Ranchordas. “They are also natural elements of your five-a-day requirement, unlike artificial post-sport supplements.”
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