publicado em 13/02/2013 às 11h00:00
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Drinking tomato juice improves muscle recovery after exercise

Fruit provides chemicals vital to help the muscles recover and overcome the effects of energy drink, say researchers

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Tomato juice could be better than energy drinks at helping the body recover from exercise, new research suggests.

Experts experts say tomatoes provide vital chemicals to help muscles recover and blood levels return to normal after being stretched and strained.

Experts from a number of health institutions in Greece conducted tests on 15 athletes over a period of two months, looking at vital signs before, during and after exercise.

Nine of the athletes drank tomato juice after exercise and six consumed their regular fizzy energy drink.

Those drinking tomato juice had quicker levels of muscle recovery and their glucose levels returned to normal faster after strenuous exercise.

Tomatoes contain a compound called lycopene, which principally give them their deep-red colour.

Anti-oxidants in tomatoes are already known to combat cancer, heart disease and other ailments, which is why some people adopting a Mediterranean diet appear to live longer.

In the latest study, harmful levels of enzymes and proteins which contribute to muscle and brain damage returned to normal quicker in those athletes who drank tomato juice after exercise.

The researchers said tomato juice was so effective that people with higher levels of harmful proteins could benefit in just two months.

The study, led by researchers at the General Chemical State Laboratory of Greece, was published in journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.

The findings back up previous Swedish research which found that tomato juice helped to reduce oxidative damage after exercise.

Researchers in Stockholm asked a group of healthy volunteers to exercise at 80 per cent of their maximum heart rate for 20 minutes.

After the exercise session, they tested their blood for a compound called 8-oxodG, a chemical that' s a marker for oxidative damage.

This occurs as a result of chemical reactions in the body which release harmful oxygen-rich molecules that attack tissue and cause permanent damage - and is implicated as a cause of many illnesses

The researchers found that volunteers who sipped tomato juice after exercise for five weeks did experience so much oxidative damage.

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