Trombold, J. R., Reinfeld, A. S., Casler, J. R., & Coyle, E. F. (June 03, 2010). Exercise-induced muscle weakness and soreness are attenuated in resistance-trained individuals by pomegranate juice supplementation. Presentation 1931 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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This study evaluated if ellagitannin supplementation derived from pomegranate juice improved recovery of skeletal muscle strength following eccentric exercise in males (N = 17) who routinely performed resistance-training exercise. Ss initially were assigned to either a pomegranate juice or placebo condition, and were treated with the other condition within 15 days. To produce delayed onset muscle soreness, Ss performed three sets of 20 maximal unilateral eccentric elbow flexion exercises and six sets of ten unilateral eccentric knee extension exercises, both at 110% of concentric 1 RM. Maximal isometric elbow flexion strength, knee extension strength, and muscle soreness measurements were made at baseline and 2, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 168 hours post-exercise.

Elbow flexion strength was significantly higher during the 2-168 hour post-exercise period in the pomegranate juice condition compared to placebo. Elbow flexor soreness was also reduced in the pomegranate juice condition compared to placebo. Knee extension strength was higher in the pomegranate juice condition compared to placebo at 96 hours post-exercise. However, there was no difference between conditions for muscle soreness.

Implication. Supplementation with pomegranate juice attenuates weakness, improves strength recovery, and reduces soreness in the elbow flexor muscles but not in knee extensor muscles following eccentric exercise in resistance-trained subjects.

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