Pycnogenol aids triathlon training
Athletes preparing themselves for the triathlon achieve better training results if they use Pycnogenol. Researchers at Chieti-Pescara University in Italy write about this in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.
No, we're not entirely happy with this study. It was published in a scientific journal, but it's packed with tables and data that consumers and supplements sellers find interesting, but that are unlikely to satisfy scientists. However, the researchers say that their study was not sponsored.
Despite all these caveats, the Italian study is worth a second glance. The researchers got 32 male athletes – average age 37 – to spend 30 days doing triathlon training. During this period the subjects performed a triathlon 10 times. In other words: one triathlon every three days.
The subjects took 50 mg Pycnogenol every day at breakfast, lunch and supper, which meant they took a total of 150 mg Pycnogenol daily.
A control group of 22 men took no Pycnogenol. They were not given a placebo either.
In the 30 days that the study lasted the men in the control group improved their time by 4 minutes and 36 seconds. The athletes that had been given Pycnogenol had improved their time by 10 minutes and 48 seconds.
The figure above shows the results of the Pycnogenol users. They improved their times for all parts of the triathlon.
During the experiment the researchers analysed blood samples from the athletes. The free radical concentration increased by much more in the blood of the athletes in the control group than it did in the athletes who took Pycnogenol.
"This study opens an interesting new application of supplementation with Pycnogenol that, with correct hydration, good training and nutritional attention may improve training and performances both in normal subjects and in semi-professional athletes performing at high levels in difficult, high-stress sports such as triathlon", the Italians conclude.
Well, well. This is about the best advertisement you could wish for if you were the producer of ingredients for supplements. No wonder that Horphag Research, the producer of Pycnogenol, distributes this study openly and for free among supplements companies.
J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2013 Dec;53(6):644-54.
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