Resveratrol May Hinder, Not Aid, Some Physical Training

New research suggests that use of the supplement resveratrol (RSV) may not enhance the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

The finding is contrary to popular belief as many news outlets and health blogs have recommended RSV as a complement to exercise and to enhance performance.

Resveratrol occurs naturally in the skin of red grapes and is associated with the health benefits connected to a Mediterranean-style diet. Recently, it’s become possible to purchase RSV supplements, which are often marketed as “exercise mimics.”

Researchers from Queen’s University discovered RSV may actually impede the body’s response to training.

“The easiest way to experience the benefits of physical activity is to be physically active,” said Dr. Brendon Gurd, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

“The efficacy of RSV at improving metabolic and cardiovascular functions is not as profound as was once thought.”

In the study, researchers compare the effect of RSV verse placebo among sixteen participants with a history of performing less than three hours of aerobic exercise per week. Participants were asked to perform high-intensity interval training three times a week for four weeks while taking either the supplement or the placebo.

Results after the four-week study showed that RSV supplementation may actually oppose the effects of exercise alone.

In fact, the placebo group showed an increase in some of the benefits associated with physical activity as opposed to the group taking RSV whose physical fitness didn’t improve.

“The results we saw suggest that concurrent exercise training and RSV supplementation may alter the body’s normal training response induced by low-volume HIIT,” Gurd said.

“The data set we recorded during this study clearly demonstrates that RSV supplementation doesn’t augment training, but may impair the affect it has on the body.”

Investigators say their findings question the ability of RSV to act as an exercise-enhancing supplement and highlight the need for further research.

This study is found in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.

Source: Queen’s University