Superfood and superfit

Adding pomegranate to your diet may pay off for lifters.

THE POMEGRANATE is more than just a tart, fibrous, and delicious snack (or a refreshing drink when consumed in juice form). Turns out, pomegranates are healthy because they contain polyphenols, antioxidant compounds that may benefit lifters in numerous ways. The most important of those benefits occurs while you train. During exercise, your muscles need additional blood flow to facilitate the delivery of oxygen. Oxygen is critical during aerobic activity and anaerobic exercise (such as lifting). Nitric oxide, aka NO, is a natural compound in the body that dilates blood vessels so that they can carry oxygen to working muscles.

Knowing the genetic variants associated with your VO2 max and Lactate Threshold may help to unlock and improve your training and recovery. What are your genetic gifts?

One preliminary in vitro study on pomegranate juice suggests that its polyphenols protect NO against oxidative stress, thereby increasing its biological activity. Preliminary research into NO suggests that pomegranate polyphenols from pomegranate extract may even help support exercise efficiency. Although this research is promising, future clinical research is needed to establish causation and the potential impact of pomegranate polyphenols on NO and exercise.


If that weren’t enough, here are three more reasons to get juiced about this incredible superfood:


By helping support nitric oxide pathways within a healthy circulatory system, pomegranate juice may help your body get the oxygen and nutrients it requires to perform at optimum levels.


Pure pomegranate juice packs more than 500mg of potassium per cup, or as much as a medium banana. Potassium is an electrolyte key to muscle function and fluid balance, which is why consuming potassium-rich fruit juice is good during (or after) a heavy workout. Not surprisingly, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans names pomegranate juice as a good source.


Free radicals are compounds in the body that can cause oxidative stress. Polyphenol-rich foods like pomegranates may help protect the body against free radicals, unstable molecules that cause damage to our bodies over time.



Pomegranates are available fresh in your grocery aisle during late summer to early winter, or look for 100% pomegranate juice year round.