Post-Exercise Recovery Helped By Consuming Polyphenols From Various Fruit Sources

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  • Elderberry, pomegranate and mangosteen extracts like tart cherry juice delay muscle soreness and help with post-exercise recovery.

A daily dose of Fytexia’s brand TensLess is shown in research to generate a 28% reduction in delaying onset muscle soreness (DOMS) compared to a placebo. The study was a randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover type and reported in Phytotherapy Research. The study was conducted by researchers from Fytexia (France), the University of Montpellier (France) and the Catholic University of Murcia (Spain). The study was very small scale.

Biomarkers for muscle damage were reduced. These correlated with a decrease in the perception of DOMS. DOMS is described as a type I muscle strain injury, and its associated clinical features include discomfort, pain, swelling, tenderness, loss of strength, and limited range of motion (Cheung et al., 2003).

Tensless is a product of polyphenols extracted from mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.), black elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) and pomegranate (Punica granatum L.)

The Study

Thirteen athletes of both sexes were chosen. They were all amateur and recreationally active in their sports activities. The subjects were randomly assigned to either a placebo group or take 1.5 grams per day of the TensLess product.

Timelength = 5 days.

All the participants performed an eccentric exercise protocol on the first day. The half-squat protocol these athletes conducted successfully induced skeletal muscle injury, as exemplified by the significant increase in typical blood markers of damaged myocytes. The DOMS and biomarkers for muscle damage were monitored for the next four days. There was a three-week ‘washout’ period. The group then swopped treatments and where they performed the same type of study to compare the two products.

Taking TensLess demonstrated an acute 33 percent reduction in the perception of DOMS. This was noticeable by the group taking the supplement within the first 24 hours following the first period of exercise. The overall effects was a 28 percent reduction in DOMS perception compared to the placebo over the whole study.

Other markers such as creatinine and myoglobin were analysed. Creatinine is a marker of renal function and often rises quite significantly following high-intensity exercise (Levers et al., 2015). In this study, the post-exercise levels of creatinine were in the normal range (0.7 to 1.2 mg/dL). This indicated no alteration of renal function but a normal response to eccentric exercise with a significant time effect occurring in both groups just after the completion of the squats protocol. Myoglobin is also a marker of muscle injury. The concentration reached a maximum about 1 hour fowling exercise in both groups. There was a significant lower increase of 25% in the group taking the supplement compared to the placebo group.


The researchers speculated on the mechanisms associated with reducing DOMS. There are a number of interesting compounds in all three fruits including α-mangostin from mangosteen, punicalagin from pomegranate. There is a synergistic reaction possible occurring between the various polyphenols which may be at the root of the TensLess product. These polyphenols may hae acute and sub-acute beneficial effects. It is worth comparing the similar results obtained with Montmorency cherries which also contains a number of polyphenols including a variety of anthocyanins. Clearly further studies are needed on a larger scale to examine the performance of these supplements.


Cheung, K., Hume, P., Maxwell, L. (2003) Delayed onset muscle soreness: treatment strategies and performance factors. Sports Med. 33(2) pp. 145–164

Levers, K., Dalton, R., Galvan, E, et al. (2015) Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on an acute bout of intense lower body strength exercise in resistance trained males. J. Int. Soc. Sports Nutr. 12 pp. 41.

Romain, C., Freitas, T. T., Martínez-Noguera, F. J., Laurent, C., Gaillet, S., Chung, L. H., Alcaraz, P. E., and Cases, J. (2017) Supplementation with a Polyphenol-Rich Extract, TensLess®, Attenuates Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and Improves Muscle Recovery from Damages After Eccentric Exercise. Phytother. Res., doi: 10.1002/ptr.5902.

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