Half a gram of 2S-hesperidin speeds up your sprint
Oranges contain the flavonoid 2S-hesperidin. If cyclists take half a gram of this per day - that equates to 2 capsules - they become significantly faster, according to a human study that recently appeared in Nutrients.
Francisco Javier Martinez-Noguera, a scientist at the Catholic University of Murcia in Spain, divided 40 amateur cyclists into 2 groups. For 8 weeks, the riders in the experimental group took 500 milligrams of 2S-hesperidin every day, while the riders in the other group had to take a placebo.
When the supplementation period was over, the subjects had, after a warm-up, to sprint on an ergometer as hard as possible for half a minute.
You can see the chemical structure of 2S-hesperidin below. It is a flavanon, which occurs naturally in citrus fruits such as the old-fashioned and well-known orange. After ingestion, microorganisms in the intestine screw the sugar groups off the molecule and hesperetin is released. Hesperetin is the actual active substance.
2R-hesperidin, an analog of 2S-hesperidin, is also available as a nutritional supplement. This substance is of semi-synthetic origin.
The researchers used a product from Spain's HealthTech Bio Actives, better known in the supplement industry as HTBA. [htba.com] This may come as a shock to you, but this company paid for the research.
The cyclists who received hesperidin were able to generate more power than the cyclists who received a placebo. That means, simply put, that they could pedal harder and were therefore faster.
Click on the figure below for a larger version.
"The improvements in training adaptations of cyclists who ingested 2S-hesperidin may be due to the ability of this molecule to increase gene expression of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1alpha) and nuclear factor respiratory-2 (NRF2) [...]", writes Martinez-Noguera.
"In addition, hesperetin has shown increased activation of AMPK in liver cells and fibroblasts. AMPK is a sensor of cellular energy status that plays a central role in skeletal muscle metabolism, regulating muscle exercise capacity, mitochondrial function and contraction-stimulated glucose uptake."
"PGC-1alpha and AMPK are an important transcriptional master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis [...] and NRF2, which is an essential regulator in the control of cellular redox homeostasis and controls glutathione synthesis (reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging)."
"Modifications in these transcription factors have shown performance improvements in endurance athletes. Therefore, 2S-hesperidin has the ability to promote muscle-level adaptations of endurance athletes, which could improve their performance in competitions."
More coming soon.
Nutrients. 2020 Dec 21;12(12):3911.
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