First and foremost I’m not a food nutritionist, or a medical professional the views expressed here are the views of a runner learning through experience.
I’m generally quite sceptical of reviewing food supplements or superfoods, because I believe that having a balanced diet, really is the best method of nutrition. I’ve actually rejected a number which I don’t believe in myself and therefore wouldn’t recommend.
I was invited to trial the product, and I decided to take part because it’s noted that the product is to be used as a supplement to your current nutrition plan, and it’s not claimed to replace anything.
The ingredients consist of 100% freeze-dried blackcurrant powder. It’s recommended that you have 1 teaspoon before and after each training session or an event. It’s claimed that there is improvement after 7 to 14 days to your performance and recovery.
I trialled the two week product 14 days prior to my recent Robin Hood marathon. There are a number of ways which you can incorporate the powder into your diet, one is through water or juice which I used. I liked the taste, however my only concern is that although the granules are very fine they do tend to sink to the bottom of a glass of water even if it has been stirred, it doesn’t fully dissolve with a whisk of a spoon, so it probably would be better suited for a smoothie.
During a trail phase, areas to improve upon in terms of packaging etc. are common and the company are aware that the bag seal quality wasn’t working correctly. However I placed the powder in an air tight container, and that was fine for the duration of the review.
Price wise for a single two weeks supplement pack, it costs $18 (Aus) which converts to approx. £10.97. This includes free shipping worldwide. In terms price it’s very good value for money. I used the powder for five sessions a week, furthermore I had it in drinks with meals intermittently and I still had plenty left over after the two weeks I finished my last marathon.
There are a number of claims on the packaging that state it improves performance, and there are studies which agree with this stance, stating that antioxidants improve recovery by lessening some of the damage of muscle soreness after exercise. However some alternative claims state that taking antioxidant supplements right after exercise could interfere with the natural beneficial response of exercise, such as negatively impacting insulin sensitivity which is claimed to increase the risk of diabetes. However the jury is still out and I’m not knowledgeable enough to pick a side.
Moving away from the antioxidant debate, it’s noted in a recent edition of UK Runners World that blackberries are one of the foods which can keep your bones strong, as they contain copper, zinc, calcium and vitamin A and C, so there are other nutritional benefits to blackberries.
The product is made by a runner and you can tell that a lot of care and attention has gone into creating this product.
In terms of improving my performance it’s hard to confirm whether it has done so objectively. This is because along side my training, I have sport massages, I have ice baths etc. I also do strength and conditioning. It’s the combination of a multitude of factors which improve your performance. However this product has nutritional benefits, and this is only a positive thing to your overall performance. So to conclude yes, I would buy the product. But I’d stress that like all things, that it has to be part of a healthy and balanced diet.