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Fitness & Health

04th Sep 2018

Why blueberries should be your new pre-workout

Lianna Carini

It’s commonly known that blueberries are a superfood, but just how super are they really?

Before a workout and to ensure optimum performance, you will want to grab a snack that will give you a rush of energy without the crash. Many opt for a protein-shake, energy drink, or a coffee.

Now there’s nothing wrong with either of those – after all, there’s nothing better than the rush that comes from a double shot Americano – but your pre-workout nutrition could even better.

So what if we said you could get the same effect from a 75g portion of blueberries? The nutrient rich, King of antioxidant, magic blue pill.

Well a recent study suggests you can. A study conducted by the University of Reading revealed that ‘eating strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries can improve reaction times, stabilise mood and keep us focused, as well as sustaining cognitive function for hours after consumption.’

The study tested 40 adults who consumed either a drink containing 75g of mixed strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, or a placebo. The mood of the adults was tested at two, four and six hours after consumption. The results suggest that the adults who consumed the berry drink sustain cognitive performance throughout their day.

Alex Neilan, dietician and personal trainer, said:

“Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries have all been shown to have considerably higher antioxidant content when compared to more commonly eaten apples and bananas.

“High intakes of antioxidants have been shown to help prevent upper respiratory tract infections and with illness being a known factor to inhibit training and sport performance, berries certainly deserve our attention.”

Not only will you be fuelling your body with nutrients, it also means you won’t get the crash that comes from a caffeine spike.

But even for those uninterested in hitting the gym, berries should still be included in your diet, as the benefits are endless. Another study has found that blueberries are also good for the brain.

37 men and women took 24 grams of freeze-dried blueberries a day, or a placebo. After 90 days, those consuming blueberries had far fewer errors in a verbal learning test and increased mental flexibility in a series of tests.

So chuck some berries in your breakfast in the morning and set yourself up for a day with optimal performance and brain function!