Pycnogenol May Boost Athletic Endurance
Pycnogenol® is a supplement made from French maritime bark extract. A recent two-part study found that supplementation with Pycnogenol® may help athletes increase endurance and reduce cramping.
Participants in the first part of the study included 201 recreational athletes between the ages of 32 and 36 who were given either 100mg of Pycnogenol® or no supplement for eight weeks.
At the end of that time period, they took the Army Physical Fitness Test, which evaluates muscular strength, endurance, and cardiovascular performance.
The researchers found that both men and women in both groups had improved 2-mile running times but that the supplement group performed statistically better than the control group. The supplement group also had an average 15% better two minute sit-up endurance when compared with the control group.
For the second part of the study, 54 male triathletes took either 150 mg of Pycnogenol® daily or no supplement for four weeks. During that time, they took part in an average 100-minute triathlon that included a .47-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride, and a 5k run.
The Pycnogenol® group went from a 1:40:24 time to a 1:29:44 time on their splits. They also had lower oxidative stress levels.
Researchers from the Chieti-Pescara University in Italy conducted the study. It was published in the December 2013 issue of The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2013.
Pycnogenol® has been shown to help with high blood pressure, muscle soreness, osteoarthritis, diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, ringing in the ears, erectile dysfunction and retinopathy.