Study: Grape Seed Extract Speeds Recovery After Exercise

Recovery is a huge piece of the puzzle for athletes, amateurs, and professionals alike.

Anyone that has spent any amount of time working out intensely knows that their body is going to feel fatigued, worn out, and sore for at least 24 hours after a really solid training session. That’s just the nature of the beast.

At the same time, it is possible to dramatically speed up your overall recovery time compared to the “normal” timeline your body wants to take naturally. This gives you an opportunity to squeeze in extra workouts, to ramp up your intensity even more so, and to recover and rebuild lean muscle mass and strength gains faster than you would have been able to before.

Believe it or not, it turns out that researchers working out of South Africa have discovered that grape seed extract can kick your recovery into high gear all on its own.

According to new reports published in the Medicine ; Science in Sports ; Exercise journal, researchers from a university in South Africa conducted a number of animal experiments to determine whether or not grape seed extract really could help repair damaged muscle tissue after intense physical exercise and exertion.

Researchers began this test coming from an understanding of how muscle breaks down and is negatively impacted by intense workouts and the inflammation that these intense sessions cause. Muscle tissue damage is created every time you push your body to the limit, but it’s the muscle tissue that is rebuilt (or the new tissue that is created) that gives you strength and athletic games.

The researchers wanted to know if it was possible to use plant-based compounds like the proanthocyanidolic oligomers found within grape seed extract could actually work to inhibit the inflammation that wreaks havoc on our muscles, prolongs recovery, and sets back our progress after training.

An experiment was established where male laboratory rats were given an anesthetic and then had their back legs bruised with a small amount of weight dropped on top of their hind legs. A control group of these laboratory rats were provided with a placebo for a 14 day stretch of time whereas another group of laboratory rats were provided with a 20 mg grape seed extract supplement (per kilogram of body weight) every single day over that same stretch of time.

At the conclusion of the 14 day test the researchers in South Africa discovered that the laboratory rats provided with grape seed extract had significantly lower levels of inflammatory proteins in their blood, but also that they had been able to increase the production of foetal myosin heavy chain compounds throughout their muscular tissue as well – a sure fire sign that the grape seed extract was working as anticipated.

More research is obviously necessary to understand exactly how much grape seed extract would be necessary for humans to accelerate their recovery process, but the early indications are certainly very positive. These laboratory mice saw significant improvements with just 20 mg of grape seed extract for every kilogram of body weight, but the researchers in South Africa aren’t quite sure if this dosage ratio is a 1:1 solution for human beings.

It sure looks like grape seed extract can help you build bigger, faster, stronger bodies with shorter recovery times. This should help amateur athletes, bodybuilders, and professionals looking to work out more intensely squeeze in a couple of extra workouts they might not have been able to otherwise while improving their rate of progress at the same time.