A new study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that pomegranates carry beneficial antioxidants that can potentially aid recovery.
The research based out of Poland found that after consuming pomegranate fruit juice, male rowers saw higher antioxidant capacity following strenuous exercise. Athletes who didn't consume pomegranate juice did not see the same benefits.
"The level of iron in the human body is affected not only by an adequate dietary intake of this element, but also by exercise-induce inflammation," write the study authors.
"The antioxidant potential of pomegranate fruit juice results from its high content of polphenols, especially proanthocyanidins."
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment, researchers gathered nineteen members of the Polish Rowing Team. Ten of the athletes received 50ml of the standardised pomegranate every day for two months. Meanwhile the remaining nine were placed in a placebo group.
Following a 2000m test on an ergometer at the beginning and end of the project, scientists collected blood samples three times: before exercise, one minute after and the following day.
While results showed that total antioxidant capacity increased in the participants, unfortunately inflammatory markers showed no significant change. Further research is needed with the inclusion of non-professional athletes.