13 Nov 2018 --- An extract obtained by cooking beef could improve exercise performance and lessen post-exercise fatigue, a mice study published in Nutrients has found. The study sought to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of beef extract on exercise performance, as well as the related role of the gut microbiota. Although the extract was found to improve exercise performance by preserving muscle glycogen, it was independent of any relationship with the gut microbiota.
Beef extract has previously linked to bone and muscle strengthening effects and boosted immunity. Compared with other kinds of meat, beef contains higher amounts of amino acids and trace elements, including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron and zinc, which can be extracted into a broth or soup, thereby improving the absorbability of these nutrients by the body, the study notes.
The study elucidated the beneficial effects of 28 days of supplementation with the extract on exercise performance – swimming time to exhaustion – and fatigue in mice. It was found that this type of supplementation had a similar positive impact on athletic performance as protein-rich products have, by enhancing endurance and reducing muscle fatigue without detrimental effects on the host, the study explains.
Ultimately, supplementation with the extract could significantly reduce physiological fatigue by decreasing serum lactate, maintaining glucose levels and preserving muscle glycogen content. The amount of glycogen in the muscle significantly affects exercise ability. The findings suggest that beef extract supplementation could be used to enhance endurance or promote physiological adaptation after intensive exercise training.
A range of ingredients hold potential for sports nutrition applications. Tomato extract, as exemplified by Provexis’ patented tomato extract, has increasingly moved into the sports nutrition market. DSM markets Provexis' tomato extract as Fruitflow, which has over 30 platelet compounds and is said to counteract the adverse effects of over-exercise on inflammation.
Further, the potential of using immunity ingredient Wellmune in sports nutrition applications has also recently been highlighted. A study found that consuming beverages fortified with the yeast beta-glucan ingredient, supplied by Kerry, can reduce the severity and impact of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms associated with intense exercise stress.
Lastly, a recent study funded by Lycored noted that consuming supplements rich in carotenoids may also help reduce muscle damage associated with exercise, specifically running.
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