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Reps of resveratrol may not reap bennies

A small study questions whether resveratrol truly enhances exercise.

Athletes hoping to leverage their interval training with interval drinking may need a stiff drink to soften the news: resveratrol may not enhance the effects of your workout.

A (very) small study from Queen’s University in Canada suggests that resveratrol may actually impede the body’s response to high intensity training. The research was published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism and noted on

Brendan Gurd, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, conducted the study with 16 subjects. When they enrolled, they engaged in less than three hours of aerobic exercise a week. For the study, they were asked to perform high intensity interval training three times a week for four weeks. One group of participants took a daily dose of resveratrol, the other took a placebo.

After the four weeks, results suggested that resveratrol may actually oppose the effects of exercise alone. Subjects who took the daily supplement did not show an increase in benefits associated with physical activity. The placebo group, however, did.

“The results we saw suggest that concurrent exercise training and RSV (resveratrol) supplementation may alter the body’s normal training response induced by low-volume HIIT (high intensity interval training),” Gurd said in a university release. “The data set we recorded during this study clearly demonstrates that RSV supplementation doesn’t augment training, but may impair the affect it has on the body.”

“The efficacy of RSV at improving metabolic and cardiovascular functions is not as profound as was once thought,” Gurd said. “The easiest way to experience the benefits of physical activity is to be physically active.” In the meantime, millions who’d rather indulge in carbernet than CrossFit await a supplement to replace sweating.

The Queen’s University study follows a highly publicized study earlier this year investigated the health-enhancing powers of resveratrol. This summer a Johns Hopkins study questioned the compound’s affect on the longevity of a group of Italian wine drinkers (who also used tobacco, a fact which may have smoked out the study’s relevancy).


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