Comparison of the polyphenol content and in vitro antioxidant capacity of fruit-based nutritional supplements commonly consumed by athletic and recreationally active populations

Lee Rickards, Anthony Lynn, Margo Barker, Mark Russell, Mayur Ranchordas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Polyphenol-rich fruit supplements are commonly consumed by recreationally active and athletic populations because of their proposed benefits to both exercise performance and recovery from prior exercise. While it has been proposed that 300 mg of polyphenols pre-exercise enhances performance and 1000 mg per day accelerates recovery from muscle damage, it is difficult for consumers to optimize their intake because the polyphenol content of most fruit supplements is not available. Therefore, this study aimed to profile the phenolic and anthocyanin content and in vitro antioxidant capacity of a range of polyphenol-rich fruit supplements on sale in the UK.

Methods
Ten polyphenol-rich fruit supplements (six cherry, two pomegranate, one blueberry, and one New Zealand blackcurrant) commonly consumed by athletes were analyzed for total phenols (Folin–Ciocalteu method), total anthocyanins (pH differential method), and in vitro antioxidant capacity (ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC).

Results
The ten tested supplements varied markedly per serving in total phenolics (range: 13.8–1007.3 mg/gallic acid equivalents), anthocyanin content (range: 0.19–40.52 mg/cyanidin-3-glucoside), ORAC (range: 150–10,072 µmol of trolox equivalents), and FRAP (range: 72−14,320 µmol of Fe2+ equivalents). Different brands of tart cherry concentrate also exhibited a marked variation in their content of total phenolics (208–591 mg/GAE), anthocyanins (1.5–23.7 mg/cyd-3-glu), and antioxidant capacity (FRAP: 1724–4489 µmol of Fe2+ equivalents; ORAC: 6015–10,072 µmol of TE per serving) per serving.

Conclusion
As expected, supplements based on different fruits contained different quantities of anthocyanins and polyphenols. However, there was also a substantial variation within different brands of tart cherry supplements. Because limited compositional information is available on the labels of most fruit-based supplements, the data in this article will enable consumers to select the required volume of the ten tested supplements to meet suggested recommendations for polyphenol intake to enhance performance (300 mg pre-exercise) and accelerate recovery (1000 mg per day) from prior exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-348
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
Volume19
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Jun 2022

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