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25.06.2013


Endurance athletes who drink cashew-apple juice make better use of their carbs

Endurance athletes who drink cashew-apple juice make better use of their carbs
If you train five days a week for at least an hour you may burn fat more easily during intensive exertion and improve your endurance performance by drinking a glass of cashew-apple juice every day. A study by physiologists at Khon Kaen University in Thailand published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests this is the case.

The product the researchers used for their study is shown here. It comes from the Srisupphaluck Orchid factory, a Thai company that has been selling cashew products for over fifty years. Srisupphaluck Orchid didn’t fund the study by the way.

Cashew nuts grow on trees and are attached to a fruit, the cashew-apple. You can make juice from the fruit. One hundred grams of the juice contains 3.36 mg vitamin C, 1.64 mg leucine, 3.04 mg isoleucine and 0.19 mg valine. It's hardly worth the effort, but the Thai researchers - who apparently don't know much about supplements – suspect that these components make cashew-apple juice a good fat burner.


Endurance athletes who drink cashew-apple juice make better use of their carbs Endurance athletes who drink cashew-apple juice make better use of their carbs


The researchers base their surmise on studies that have shown that vitamin C supplementation boosts fat burning in people with a deficiency of this vitamin, and on studies in which BCAAs inhibit fat mass growth, or others in which leucine supplementation boosts fat burning. That higher doses were used in these studies than the miniscule amounts found in cashew-apple juice is something the researchers seem to have forgotten.

The researchers got 10 trained men aged 23-33 to drink 3.5 ml cashew-apple juice per kg bodyweight every day for four weeks, and they got 10 untrained men to do the same. Before and after the four weeks, the athletes had to cycle for 20 minutes at 85 percent of their VO2max, and the non-athletes did so at 85 percent of their VO2peak.

The researchers repeated the procedures, but this time the subjects were given a placebo containing only carbohydrates. The placebo and the cashew-apple juice both provided 70 g sugars per 100 ml.

The cashew-apple juice boosted the subjects' fat burning during the trial – especially that of the trained men.


Endurance athletes who drink cashew-apple juice make better use of their carbs


Endurance athletes who drink cashew-apple juice make better use of their carbs
"The findings of this study suggest that cashew apple juice enhances fat oxidation during exercise and may enhance endurance performance, but specific studies are needed to assess this possibility", the researchers conclude. They hint that, when it comes to the mechanism behind the effect, they aren't prepared to bet on the vitamin C and the BCAAs in cashew-apple juice.

The juice, the researchers write, also contains compounds such as anacardic acid [structural formula shown here].

Source:
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Mar 7; 10(1): 13.

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