Published: 8 March 2023 at 08:00
Research is first to examine exercise benefits from drinking olive fruit water
New research has found that a natural by-product of olive oil production could potentially have antioxidant benefits and support exercise.
The study, led by nutrition researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and published in the journal Nutrients, is the first to examine the benefits of natural olive fruit water for recreationally active people.
Olive fruit water is a waste product derived from producing olive oil. Olives contain polyphenols which have antioxidant properties, and a commercially available olive fruit water product, called OliPhenolia, contains a number of phenolic compounds and is particularly rich in hydroxytyrosol.
The first study into its potential benefits for people who exercise involved 29 recreationally active participants who consumed either OliPhenolia or a placebo, matched for taste and appearance, over 16 consecutive days, and it found positive effects on several key markers of running performance.
OliPhenolia consumption improved respiratory parameters at the onset of exercise as well as oxygen consumption and running economy at lower levels of intensity (lactate threshold 1).
Respiratory parameters at higher intensity (lactate threshold 2) were largely unaffected, but perceived exertion – how hard participants thought their body was working – was improved, as was acute recovery following incremental exercise.
Lead author Dr Justin Roberts, Associate Professor in Health & Exercise Nutrition at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:
Dr Roberts carried out the work with researchers Jorge Pinto and Joe Lillis. The full open access study, published in the journal Nutrients, is available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/15/2/421
The research was funded by Fattoria La Vialla, Arezzo, Italy. The funders had no role in the design of this peer-reviewed study; in the collection, analysis or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results.