Effects of New Zealand blackcurrant extract on sport climbing performance
- 20 Downloads
Blood flow to skeletal muscles and removal of metabolic by-products during a sport climb are essential to optimise performance and recovery. New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract has enhanced blood flow and performance in other exercise modalities. We examined the effect of NZBC extract on sport climbing performance and recovery.
The study employed a double-blind, randomised, crossover design. Male sport climbers (n = 18, age 24 ± 6 years, height 179 ± 6 cm, mass 71.4 ± 7.8 kg, French grade 6a-8b) undertook 7 days supplementation of NZBC extract (600 mg day−1 CurraNZ™ containing 210 mg anthocyanins) or a placebo (PL). Climbing ability was assessed through hang time (HT), pull-ups and total climbing time (TCT) in 3 intermittent climbing bouts on a Treadwall M6 rotating climbing wall to exhaustion with 20 min recovery between climbs. Heart rate (HR), blood lactate (BL), forearm girth (FG) and hand grip strength (HGS) were recorded.
NZBC extract had no effect on pull-ups but provided a trend for higher HT and significantly improved TCT (+23%) compared to PL (-11%) over three climbs. HR, BL, FG and HGS all indicated that 20 min was insufficient for physiological recovery between the three climbing bouts indicating accumulative fatigue regardless of supplement condition.
Despite indices of progressive fatigue across three bouts of climbing, NZBC extract facilitated not only a maintenance of TCT but an improved climbing endurance as compared with the PL condition. Blackcurrant anthocyanin-derived metabolites seem to affect physiological responses that facilitate sport climbing performance.
KeywordsNew zealand blackcurrant Sport climbing Exercise performance Anthocyanins Polyphenols Lactate
Hand grip strength
New Zealand blackcurrant
Rating of perceived exertion
Total climbing time
The authors would like to thank Health Currancy Ltd (United Kingdom) for providing New Zealand blackcurrant extract and placebo capsules for use in this study. The authors also wish to thank Becky Warke for assistance with data collection and the climbers who agreed to participate in the study.
The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.
- Borg GAV (1982) Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Med Sci Sports Exerc 14:377–381Google Scholar
- Clark-Carter D (1997) Doing Qualitative Psychological Research: From Design to Report. Psychology Press, HoveGoogle Scholar
- Cohen J (1988) Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum, HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
- Cook MD, Myers SD, Gault ML, Willems MET (2017) Blackcurrant Alters Physiological Responses and Femoral Artery Diameter during Sustained Isometric Contraction. Nutrients 9(6), pii:556. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9060556
- Draper N, Bird EL, Coleman I, Hodgson CI (2006a) Effects of Active Recovery on Lactate Concentration, Heart Rate and RPE in Climbing. J Sports Sci Med 5(1):97–105Google Scholar
- Draper N, Giles D, Schöffl V, Konstantin Fuss F, Watts P Wolf, P, et al (2016) Comparative grading scales, statistical analyses, climber descriptors and ability grouping: International Rock Climbing Research Association position statement. Sports Technology 8(3–4):88–94. https://doi.org/10.1080/19346182.2015.1107081 Google Scholar
- Fryer S, Stoner L, Scarrott C, Lucero A, Witter T, Love R, Dickson T, Draper N (2014) Forearm oxygenation and blood flow kinetics during a sustained contraction in multiple ability groups of rock climbers. J Sports Sci 33(5):518–526. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2014.949828 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fryer S, Giles D, Palomino IG, de la O Puerta A, España-Romero V, (2018) Hemodynamic and cardiorespiratory predictors of sport rock climbing performance. J Strength Cond Res 32(12):3534–3541. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001860
- Giles, D, Chidley, J B, Taylor, N, Torr, O, Hadley, J, Randall, T, Fryer, S (2019) The Determination of Finger-Flexor Critical Force in Rock Climbers, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1–8. https://doi.org/ 10.1123/ijspp.2018–0809.
- Matsumoto H, Takenami E, Iwasaki-Kurashige K, Osada T, Katsumura T, Hamaoka T (2005) Effects of blackcurrant anthocyanin intake on peripheral muscle circulation during typing work in humans. Eur J Appl Physiol 94(1–2):36–45. https://doi.org/ 10.1007/s00421–004–1279-y.
- McKenna MJ, Medved I, Goodman CA, Brown MJ, Bjorksten AR, Murphy KT, Petersen AC, Sostarci S, Gong X (2006) N-acetylcysteine attenuates the decline in muscle Na+, K+-pump activity and delays fatigue during prolonged exercise in humans. J Physiol 576(Pt 1):279–288. https://doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2006.115352 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Murphy C, Cook MD, Willems MET (2017) Effect of New Zealand blackcurrant extract on repeated cycling time trial performance. Sports 5(2), pii:25. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5020025.
- Schweizer A, Furrer M (2007) Correlation of forearm strength and sports climbing performance. Isokinetic Ex Sci, 15(3): 211–216. https://doi.org/ 10.3233/IES-2007–0275.
- Soles C (2008) Climbing: Training for Peak Performance. The Mountaineers Books, Seattle WA, USAGoogle Scholar
- Watts P, Newbury V, Sulentic J (1996) Acute changes in handgrip strength, endurance, and blood lactate with sustained sport rock climbing. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 36(4):255–260Google Scholar
- Watts PB, Jensen RL, Gannon E, Kobeinia R, Maynard J, Sansom J (2008) Forearm EMG during rock climbing differs from EMG during handgrip dynamometry. Int J Exerc Sci 1(1):2Google Scholar