by James Aldwin
The search for natural exercise aids continues to capture the interest of fitness enthusiasts, and a recent study suggests that olive fruit water, a by-product of olive oil production, could be a potential game-changer. Rich in polyphenols, this waste product is now being investigated for its potential benefits on exercise performance.
Nutrition researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have published the first study examining the advantages of natural olive fruit water for recreationally active people in the journal Nutrients. Olives are known to contain polyphenols with antioxidant properties. A commercially available product, OliPhenolia, boasts a high concentration of phenolic compounds, particularly hydroxytyrosol.
The study involved 29 participants who consumed either OliPhenolia or a placebo for 16 consecutive days. Researchers found positive effects on several key markers of running performance. OliPhenolia consumption led to improved respiratory parameters at the onset of exercise, enhanced oxygen consumption and running economy at lower levels of intensity, and better acute recovery following incremental exercise. However, respiratory parameters at higher intensity remained largely unaffected.
Dr. Justin Roberts, Associate Professor in Health & Exercise Nutrition at ARU and lead author, said: “For a long time I’ve been interested in the exercise benefits of polyphenols, such as those derived from cherries and beetroot. To gain similar benefits from olives you would have to consume large quantities daily, which isn’t realistic, so we were keen to test this concentrated olive fruit water.”
Olive fruit water, typically discarded during olive oil production, has now found a purpose as a sustainable by-product, thanks to an Italian company, Fattoria La Vialla, that has transformed it into a dietary supplement. Dr. Roberts elaborated: “Ours is the first study to investigate the use of this olive fruit water in an exercise setting and we found that 16 days of supplementation could have a positive influence on aerobic exercise, most notably at submaximal levels.”
The research indicates that olive fruit water could potentially benefit individuals engaged in regular aerobic exercise training. The ARU team now plans to conduct further research to corroborate their findings and explore its effectiveness in marathon training, recovery, and suppressing exercise-induced inflammation.
So, could this sustainable by-product be the answer to boosting your exercise routine? As more research emerges, we may soon discover that the benefits of olives go far beyond their oil, providing a natural and eco-friendly option for fitness enthusiasts.
Currently you can only buy it directly from the manufacturer and have it shipped from Italy for around 35 Euros for 32 mini jars, plus shipping. Will USA based manufacturers make it too?