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In recent research with male rowers, researchers found that those who consumed pomegranate juice had significantly higher total antioxidant capacity after a strenuous exercise session compared to those who did not.
In their study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the researchers report that this higher capacity was observed during rest time.
In the past several studies have linked a higher antioxidant capacity with the reduction of the potential oxidative stress produced by high resistance and intensity training.
But the original goal of the research in this study was to see if fruit juice would have an effect on iron metabolism, which it doesn't!
"The level of iron in the human body is affected not only by adequate dietary intake of this element, but also by exercise-induced inflammation, " they wrote.
They cited a 2014 study by researchers from China that "showed that moderate intensity exercise has a beneficial effect on iron metabolism, while strenuous exercise can induce systemic inflammation."
A rich source of polyphenols
The researchers postulated that the increased antioxidant potential could be due to the high antioxidant activity of pomegranate compared to other foods widely recognized for their antioxidant properties, such as red wine or tea.
"The antioxidant potential of pomegranate juice results from its rich content of polyphenols, especially proanthocyanidins," they wrote. They added that an increase in total antioxidant capacity after two weeks of pomegranate juice supplementation was consistent with previous studies.
Although the juice had no significant effect on other study parameters, such as inflammatory markers or iron metabolism, the researchers argued that this could be due to their highly trained study subjects (they were members of the National Rowing Team after all. from Poland).
“The lack of significant changes in the inflammation markers of the subjects in our study could perhaps be explained by their good adaptation to high training loads. This topic could be interesting for future research”.
Study details
19 members of the Polish Rowing Team participated in the double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
They were randomly divided into a supplementation group (10 rowers) receiving 50 ml of standardized pomegranate daily for two months or a placebo group.
Participants then performed a 2,000-meter test on a rowing ergometer at the beginning of the project and at the end of the follow-up period.
The researchers took blood samples from the veins in their elbows (elbow fossa) 3 times during the trial; before exercise, one minute after the test and after a recovery day.

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