London: Blackcurrants have been used for centuries to treat tiredness, arthritis, kidney stones, gout and lung problems but studies have now revealed that the juice can help prevent aches and strains during exercise.
Researchers say compounds called flavonoids in the berries protect the body from the stresses of working out, reports dailymail.co.uk.
The experiment, led by Roger Hurst at New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, monitored the impact of blackcurrant extract on 10 untrained volunteers.
Those who took the blackcurrant pill before and after daily moderate exercise had fewer signs of "oxidative stress" and muscle damage. Their bodies also had fewer signs of inflammation.
Each pill contained the equivalent of one or two ounces of berries and was taken daily for three weeks before and after exercise.
"In our research we chose a group of 10 healthy everyday people with a wide age range who exercised regularly and measured biochemical indicators to assess the effect of taking the blackcurrant extract capsules before and after exercise," said Hurst.
Past studies have shown that compounds in blackcurrants reduced inflammation in muscles caused by typing repetitively on a computer keyboard.
Hurst said vitamin C was unlikely to be the miracle ingredient.
"We are looking more closely instead at the role of flavonoids within the fruit. These include anthocyanins, the compounds that gives blackcurrants their brilliant purple colour," he said.