Blackcurrant Extract, the Secret Ingredient to Help Boost 5km Running Times

Blackcurrant Extract, the Secret Ingredient to Help Boost 5km Running Times

Aside from walking, running is almost certainly the most popular way to exercise in the UK. Unlike general walking, running has a competitive element to it, and many who enjoy a run are driven by their times. Most runners are eager to find ways to improve, but one ingredient they might not have thought of using to help them do it is blackcurrant extract. The results from a new study reveal what they could be missing out on.

A Study into Blackcurrant Extract Benefits for Runners
A new study[1] utilising CurraNZ® New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract has revealed a breakthrough for runners looking to improve their 5km running times. The data has revealed that taking blackcurrant extract helped to improve performance by up to 5.7%.

On average, runners participating in the double-blind, randomised cross-over design study ran 3% faster with 900mg (three capsules) of the berry extract, an exciting development for recreational athletes looking to blitz their next park run.

A UK study at the University of Chester study researched trained male runners and triathletes, testing the effect of three capsules of CurraNZ blackcurrant extract (900mg / 315mg anthocyanin) taken two hours before the 5km treadmill test. Findings showed:

  • Faster completion times in 88% of respondents
  • Average improvements of 3% (38 seconds), compared to placebo
  • 11 of the 16 participants improved by over 14.25 seconds (the typical variation in 5km running time in trained runners)

Dr Samantha Moss, Senior Lecturer in Physiology and Sports Sciences at the University of Chester, who led the CurraNZ study, said, “We were surprised to see the differences in running times between the conditions. As part of our analysis, we calculated an effect size (d) value, which allows us to interpret how meaningful performance changes are. In our study, we observed a small meaningful effect (d=0.23) of blackcurrant extract on time-trial performance.

“The novelty is that New Zealand blackcurrant supplement can be used as a performance enhancing aid on an acute basis, which may suit a lot of recreational athletes preparing for a race.

“When added to a nutritious diet, race preparation could be optimised by taking one dose of three capsules of blackcurrant extract, offering athletes a simple approach to achieving meaningful performance improvements to 5km race times.”

Previous studies have shown that a seven-day intake of 1-2 capsules (300 mg-600 mg) of CurraNZ is required to improve cycling and running times. These improvements are linked to changes in cardiovascular and metabolic function. However, the faster running times in this study were achieved without significant changes to carbohydrate oxidation, fat oxidation, heart rate, blood lactate or rating of perceived exertion.

Dr Moss added, “Based on previous studies, we believe these changes might be due to an increase in blood flow, which can enhance lactate clearance. We measured lactate and saw slightly lower values in the blackcurrant condition, but the confidence intervals (i.e. range of estimates) were too big to say this could be one of the mechanisms responsible.

“Doing more work to assess the role of blackcurrant extract anthocyanin metabolite profiles might be useful for future work, considering that metabolites in similar compounds have been identified as possible drivers in altering blood flow.”


[1] Samantha L. Moss, Edward Brindley, Kevin Enright, Jamie Highton & Richard Bott The effects of an acute dose of New Zealand blackcurrant extract on 5 km running performance Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2023 Aug 30:1-8.

Blackcurrants next to a a jar filled with extract from the berriesBlackcurrant Extract, the Secret Ingredient to Help Boost 5km Running Times 2

Editorial Team

The independent luxury magazine showcasing the finest and most luxurious things in life. Luxurious Magazine travels the world visiting the best resorts, hotel and restaurants to see whether they warrant the 'Luxurious Magazine' seal of approval. We also feature the latest news, finest products and services, luxury events and talk to leading personalities and celebrities.

error: Copying this content is prohibited by Luxurious Magazine®