Sometimes, you just need to get back to the basics. Since the dawn of time, fruits and vegetables have been the cornerstone of good health. Pomegranates are no exception.
Modern research and technology has taken this one step further. We can now extract the best qualities from natural products for targeted results. You don’t need synthetic protein shakes with a million ingredients you can’t pronounce. Pomegranate extract contains some of the best ingredients to enhance your post-workout nutrition.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of pomegranate extract as a post-workout, and how you can use it as part of your training regimen.
What is pomegranate extract?
Pomegranates themselves are lovely, delicious, red fruits with tons of little seeds inside. Eating a pomegranate whole provides antioxidants, sugars, vitamins and minerals, but extracting these individual elements make them more potent. Extracts can be made from either the seeds or the peel, depending on which nutrients you’re looking for.
The most desirable nutrients in pomegranate extract are punicalagins (found in the peel) and punicic acid (found primarily in the seeds). As antioxidants and fatty acids, respectively, these compounds introduce a wealth of health benefits for the human body. Punicalagins have been shown to inhibit inflammation and improve recovery, while punicic acid reduces plaque and bad cholesterol within blood vessels.
Benefits of pomegranate extract post workout
While pomegranate extract is healthy at any time, the post-workout effects are most pronounced. After a workout, your body is tired, depleted of energy, and plenty of microtraumas and inflammatory risks emerge. Pomegranate extract post-workout is an ideal solution for the following reasons:
Increased blood flow
Pomegranate supplementation elevates the production of nitric oxide. This chemical compound signals biological processes such as increased blood flow and widened blood vessels. Adding pomegranate extract to your post-workout therefore enhances circulation, transporting nutrients to your cells while removing damaging byproducts.
Exercise significantly increases oxidative stress, an imbalance of dangerous free radicals in your system. Free radicals run rampant around your body in search of an electron to attach to, damaging cells along the way. Antioxidants, however, donate an electron to these little scavengers so they can’t steal from your cells.
Pomegranate contains more antioxidants than green tea or red wine, other commonly touted beacons of health. The catechins and punicalagins from pomegranate extract enter your bloodstream after a workout to neutralize any negative effects. Multiple studies confirm the powerful antioxidant potential of pomegranate extract, as it downregulates the inflammatory response and reduces reactive oxygen species.
What you eat after a workout can directly affect how you’ll feel the next day, or even in a few hours. For those of us who train multiple days in a row (or multiple times per day), maximizing muscle recovery is paramount.
Research shows that pomegranate post-workout can increase the rate of muscular recovery. One study found that pomegranate supplementation lowered markers of muscle damage, raised muscle strength after a single training bout, and decreased delayed soreness.
Bounce back faster from injury
According to a study out of India, researchers found that pomegranate extract shrunk wound areas and improved localized inflammatory response. While broad, chronic inflammation is bad, localized inflammation brings nutrients to a wounded area for repair.
The same study showed that when injured rats were given pomegranate extract, they experienced increased collagen and fibroblast presentation. These two combine to produce structural tissue in humans.
While we hope you don’t get injured during your workout, a small, sprained ankle or a tweaked muscle can happen. Count on post-workout pomegranate extract to nurse you back to health.
While not a traditional protein source, the peel and juice of pomegranate contains a small amount of amino acids, specifically valine, proline, and methionine. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which trigger vital processes within the body.
Valine is a branched-chain amino acid that contributes to protein synthesis and muscle growth. Proline contributes to connective tissue, while methionine helps synthesize creatine. Adding these compounds to your post-workout can boost your results in the gym.
Reduce plaque and cholesterol in blood vessels
While not a direct post-workout benefit, reducing plaque build-up protects your heart and keeps your engine running smoothly. Concentrated pomegranate juice has been associated with lower risk factors of heart disease. In a similar vein, punicic acid, one of pomegranate extract’s powerful compounds, can decrease HDL cholesterol.
Where can you get pomegranate extract?
Great question! If you live near a vitamin shop or holistic grocery store, you can likely find it down the street. Another option is to order pomegranate extract online from large retailers such as Amazon. Look for ones with large concentrations of punicalagins, punicic acid, and other polyphenols for best effects.
If you’re in the market for a general post-workout supplement, however, you might need something more. There are some great brands that include pomegranate extract alongside traditional ingredients like creatine, BCAAs, or electrolytes.
As an example, Performance Lab Post combines pomegranate extract, standardized for maximum polyphenols and punicosides, with creatine, coconut water crystals, and Himalayan pink salt. The synergy of these ingredients brings out the best results and absorption qualities.
The polyphenols, antioxidants, and other outstanding health benefits of pomegranate extract are great post-workout assets.
Athletes and weightlifters alike can reap the rewards of this simple, natural superfood.
After spending weeks researching supplements, we found that Performance Lab Post is the best available. It’s an all-natural product created in state-of-the-art facilities with even the small details perfected; for example, it comes in pills that are made from prebiotic fiber, instead of the usual HPMC or Cellulose, so that you’re not consuming what is essentially plastic. Not only that, it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients at all (no sweeteners or flavoring necessary due to it being in pill form).
Add pomegranate to your post-workout if you want to improve muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and train harder each day.