For athletes or anyone invested in a physical pursuit, recovery is one of the most important aspects of any training program. If you can’t train, you can’t progress.
Numerous studies on Polyphenols over the last few years have highlighted their ability to reduce inflammation and stress caused by exercise whilst also reducing delayed onset muscle soreness, meaning you’ll feel fewer aches and pains after exercise and keep your training schedule on track.
What are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are a diverse group of naturally occurring compounds that make up plant-based substances. They are strong antioxidants, which help to prevent cell damage in the body.
In addition to being a superb recovery aide, polyphenols have also been recognised for their ability to assist with digestive and brain health. In terms of digestion, evidence suggests that polyphenols can help to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut whilst fighting off harmful bacteria. They’ve also been reported to improve blood flow to the brain, helping to improve visual and cognitive functions. The role polyphenols can play in terms of recovery is also significant due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
The health benefits you can gain from polyphenols vary greatly, depending on the type of polyphenol you consume.
The Different Types of Polyphenols
There have been over 8000 different types of polyphenols that have been identified in various plant species. Six of the most commonly found polyphenols in food and beverages include the following types:
- Flavanols – found in tea, cocoa, apples and broad beans
- Flavanones – found in citrus fruit
- Flavonols – found in tea, apples and onions
- Hydroxycinnamic acids – found in coffee, chicory, artichokes, plums and pears
- Anthocyanins – found in berries
- Stilbene – found in grapes
Flavanols, flavanones, flavonols and anthocyanins make up a group of polyphenols known as flavonoids – which help your body function more efficiently, whilst helping to regulate cells and protecting you against free radicals and harmful toxins.
Phenolic acids are another group of polyphenols, which include stilbene and hydroxycinnamic acids. There are numerous reported health benefits of phenolic acids, but our focus when creating Amunra was on their ability to promote the anti-inflammatory capacity of our bodies.
As each type of polyphenol can benefit you in different ways, it is important to try and consume a variety of them in your daily diet. You can add more polyphenols to your diet by consuming food sources that are rich in different types of polyphenols (see list above)
Getting More Polyphenols in Your Diet
Polyphenols can be found in a range of natural and plant-based food sources. Rich sources of polyphenols include fruits such as apples, grapes and berries and vegetables such as artichokes, broccoli and chicory. It’s not just fruit and vegetables; red wine, tea, dark chocolate and coffee are all rich in polyphenols.
It’s reported that coffee is the main source of certain polyphenols in western diets. In terms of the beneficial effects of polyphenols in coffee, studies have shown that coffee is a key provider of antioxidants in many diets and drinking a moderate amount per day can help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Some polyphenols found in coffee (phenolic acids) contain anti-inflammatory properties, meaning coffee is able to enhance recovery after exercise.
One of the main benefits of Amunra coffee is its ability to aid a quicker recovery. That’s why when developing Amunra, we wanted to create a coffee that contains the highest possible number of polyphenols. One cup of Amunra contains approximately 160mg (+-10mg) of polyphenols, a significantly higher level than alternative coffees and almost double the amount when compared to some regular coffees.
If you want to learn more about polyphenols and their benefits, you can check out our behind the science page for more information and scientific research.