No pain, no gain – sore muscles are a common side effect of exercise. Researchers have found New Zealand Greenshell™ mussel powder can help men recover faster from injuries caused by exercise.

The clinical trial, funded by the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge and conducted by Plant & Food Research, found that after four weeks of taking Sanford’s Greenshell™ mussel powder product, PERNAULTRA®, study participants reported accelerated muscle recovery following exercise-induced damage and decreased soreness of target muscle groups.

The study has been published in the global journal Nutrients.

Twenty untrained, healthy adult men aged between 21 and 45 years took part in the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over intervention study. The study investigated the effects of consuming three grams of Greenshell™ mussel PERNAULTRA® powder daily on muscle recovery after exercise-induced muscle damage compared with when they took a placebo for the same duration.

Participants completed a bench-stepping exercise that induced muscle damage to the eccentrically exercised leg. Muscle function, soreness and biomarkers of muscle damage, oxidative stress and inflammation were measured before exercise, immediately after exercise, and 24-, 48- and 72-hours post exercise. The scientists concluded that taking the PERNAULTRA®, powder expedited the recovery of muscle function and reduced the severity of delayed onset of muscle soreness in untrained men.

“Our findings show that Greenshell™ mussel powder supplementation accelerated muscle recovery following exercise-induced damage as determined by faster recovery of muscle function, reduction in plasma CK concentrations and decreased soreness of target muscle groups,” says Plant & Food Research scientist Dr Dominic Lomiwes, who led the study.

“Reduced muscle function following prolonged unaccustomed eccentric exercise is a classic indicator of muscle damage, limiting physical performance for several days. This study provides evidence for Greenshell™ mussel powder in being effective in supporting muscle recovery from EIMD.”

Sanford’s GM of Innovation, Andrew Stanley, says this latest result broadens our understanding of the power of Greenshell™ mussels.

“This study is breaking new ground in extending our understanding of what mussel powder can be used for. Mussel powder for injury recovery is a big, new proven benefit. And while the study was done specifically on Sanford’s PERNAULTRA® mussel powder, we think this new evidence offers an opportunity for the whole industry to think about where we go next as we explore everything Greenshell™ mussel powder can do. We know there are multiple benefits to Greenshell™ mussel powder and we are certain that more will be uncovered as research continues.”

The study was part of a collaborative research programme between Massey University, New Zealand’s leading seafood company Sanford, the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, and the Crown Research Institute Plant & Food Research.

Cawthron scientist Matt Miller says this work is part of a group of studies being conducted into the benefits of the New Zealand product.

“This first result is very exciting, but frankly, not surprising. It confirms what we have known for some time about New Zealand Greenshell™ mussels. But we have now proven you can shave a day off your recovery from a strenuous event which should have all elite athletes and weekend warriors as excited. This aligns with other clinical trials we have run with this mussel powder in different genders and ages.”

Article reproduced with permission from Plant & Food Research.