Advertisement

Effects of New Zealand blackcurrant extract on sport climbing performance

  • J. A. PotterEmail author
  • C. I. Hodgson
  • M. Broadhurst
  • L. Howell
  • J. Gilbert
  • M. E. T. Willems
  • I. C. Perkins
Original Article
  • 20 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

Keywords

New zealand blackcurrant Sport climbing Exercise performance Anthocyanins Polyphenols Lactate 

Abbreviations

BL

Blood lactate

FG

Forearm girth

HGS

Hand grip strength

HR

Heart rate

HT

Hang time

NZBC

New Zealand blackcurrant

RPE

Rating of perceived exertion

TCT

Total climbing time

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

Funding

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.

References

  1. Armstrong CA, Oldham JA (1999) A Comparison of Dominant and Non-Dominant Hand Strengths. Journal of Hand Surgery 24(4):421–425.  https://doi.org/10.1054/JHSB.1999.0236 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baláš J, Pecha O, Martin A, Cochrane D (2012) Hand–arm strength and endurance as predictors of climbing performance. Eur J Sport Sci 12:16–25.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2010.546431 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baláš J, Michailov M, Giles D, Kodejška J, Panáčková M, Fryer S (2016) Active recovery of the finger flexors enhances intermittent handgrip performance in rock climbers. Eur J Sport Sci 16(7):764–772.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2015.1119198 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borg GAV (1982) Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Med Sci Sports Exerc 14:377–381Google Scholar
  5. Brent S, Draper N, Hodgson CI, Blackwell G (2009) Development of a performance assessment tool for rock climbers. Eur J Sport Sci 9:159–167.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17461390902741132 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clark-Carter D (1997) Doing Qualitative Psychological Research: From Design to Report. Psychology Press, HoveGoogle Scholar
  7. Cohen J (1988) Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum, HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen J (1992) A power primer. Psychol Bull 112(1):155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cook MD, Myers SD, Blacker SD, Willems MET (2015) New Zealand blackcurrant extract improves cycling performance and fat oxidation in cyclists. Eur J Appl Physiol 115(11):2357–2365.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3215-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Draper N, Brent S, Hale B, Coleman I (2006b) The influence of sampling site and assay method on lactate concentration in response to rock climbing. Eur J Appl Physiol 98(4):363–372.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-006-0289-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 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
  14. Engel FA, Sperlich B, Stöcker U, Wolf P, Schöffl V, Donath L (2018) Acute Responses to Forearm Compression of Blood Lactate Accumulation, Heart Rate, Perceived Exertion, and Muscle Pain in Elite Climbers. Front Physiol 9:605.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.00605 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fanchini M, Violette F, Impellizzeri FM, Maffiuletti NA (2013) Differences in climbing-specific strength between boulder and lead rock climbers. J Strength Cond Res 27(2):310–314.  https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182577026 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fryer S, Dickson T, Draper N, Blackwell G, Hillier S (2013) A psychophysiological comparison of on-sight lead and top rope ascents in advanced rock climbers. Scand J Med Sci Sports 23(5):645–650.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2011.01432.x Google Scholar
  17. 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
  18. Fryer S, Stoner L, Stone K, Giles D, Sveen J, Garrido I, España-Romero V (2016) Forearm muscle oxidative capacity index predicts sport rock-climbing performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 116:1479–1484.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-016-3403-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 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
  20. Gajewski J, Hubner-Wozniak E, Tomaszewski P, Sienkiewicz-Dianzenza E (2009) Changes in Handgrip Force and Blood Lactate as Response to Simulated Climbing Competition. Biol Sport 26(1):13–21.  https://doi.org/10.5604/20831862.890171 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gáspari AF, Berton R, Lixandrão ME, Piunti RP, Chacon-Mikahil MPT, Bertuzzi R (2015) The blood lactate concentration responses in a real indoor sport climbing competition. Sci Sport 30(4):228–231.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scispo.2015.05.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 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.
  23. Guo F, Wang Q, Liu Y, Hanson NJ (2019) Changes in blood lactate and muscle activation in elite rock climbers during a 15-m speed climb. Eur J Appl Physiol 119(3):791–800.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-018-04070-w CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kennedy DO (2019) Phytochemicals for Improving Aspects of Cognitive Function and Psychological State Potentially Relevant to Sports Performance. Sports Med 49(Suppl 1):39–58.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-1007-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. López-Rivera E, González-Badillo JJ (2012) The effects of two maximum grip strength training methods using the same effort duration and different edge depth on grip endurance in elite climbers. Sports Technology 5(3–4):100–110.  https://doi.org/10.1080/19346182.2012.716061 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lutter C, El-Sheikh Y, Schöffl I, Schöffl V (2017) Sport Climbing: Medical Considerations for this New Olympic Discipline. Br J Sports Med 51(1):2–3.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-096871 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. Michailov ML, Rokowski R, Ręgwelski T, Staszkiewicz R, Brown LE, Szygula Z (2017) Physiological responses during two climbing tests with different hold types. Int J Sports Sci Coach 12(2):276–283.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1747954117694740 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 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.
  31. Perkins IC, Vine SA, Blacker SD, Willems MET (2015) New Zealand blackcurrant extract improves high-intensity intermittent running. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 25(5):487–493.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2015-0020 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schöffl VR, Möckel F, Köstermeyer G, Roloff I, Küpper T (2006) Development of a performance diagnosis of the anaerobic strength endurance of the forearm flexor muscles in sport climbing. Int J Sports Med 27(3):205–211.  https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2005-837622 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 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.
  34. Soles C (2008) Climbing: Training for Peak Performance. The Mountaineers Books, Seattle WA, USAGoogle Scholar
  35. Speciale A, Cimino F, Saija A, Canali R, Virgili F (2014) Bioavailability and molecular activities of anthocyanins as modulators of endothelial function. Genes Nutr 9(4):404.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12263-014-0404-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sterne JAC, Cox DR, Smith GD (2001) Sifting the evidence-what’s wrong with significance tests? BMJ 322(7280):226–231.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7280.226 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Strauss JA, Willems MET, Shepherd SO (2018) New Zealand blackcurrant extract enhances fat oxidation during prolonged cycling in endurance-trained females. Eur J Appl Physiol 118(6):1265–1272.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-018-3858-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Suhr F, Gehlert S, Grau M, Bloch W (2013) Skeletal muscle function during exercise—fine-tuning of diverse subsystems by nitric oxide. Int J Mol Sci 14(4):7109–7139.  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms14047109 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Watts PB (2004) Physiology of difficult rock climbing. Eur J Appl Physiol 91(4):361–372.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-003-1036-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. White DJ, Olsen PD (2010) A time motion analysis of bouldering style competitive rock climbing. J Strength Cond Res 24(5):1356–1360.  https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cf75bd CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Willems MET, Myers SD, Gault ML, Cook MD (2015) Beneficial physiological effects with blackcurrant intake in endurance athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 25(4):367–374.  https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0233 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ziberna L, Lunder M, Tramer F, Drevensek G, Passamonti S (2013) The endothelial plasma membrane transporter bilitranslocase mediates rat aortic vasodilation induced by anthocyanins. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 23(1):68–74.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2011.02.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of SportUniversity of ChichesterChichesterUK

Personalised recommendations