Nutrition Fact Sheet
Who has created 2before™ blackcurrant powder?
2before™ blackcurrant powder is produced and marketed by 2before Performance Nutrition Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research (Plant & Food Research). Plant & Food Research is New Zealand’s largest research institute providing research and innovation to ensure the sustainable growth of the plant and marine-based food industries. With over 1,000 people based at 14 sites across New Zealand, as well as offices in the USA and Australia, Plant & Food Research has 700 researchers who published more than 380 peer reviewed publications last year. Plant & Food Research has been researching the exercise benefits of New Zealand blackcurrants for the past fifteen years. In 2009 the research team led by Dr Roger Hurst published early evidence that New Zealand blackcurrant anthocyanins can speed the resolution of inflammation due to exercise and improve immunity (Lyall, 2009). In more recent publications in Frontiers of Nutrition, Dr Hurst and his team have shown that New Zealand blackcurrants have a unique balance of red (anti-oxidant) and blue (pro-oxidant) anthocyanins that shifts your redox balance, manages oxidative stress and speeds recovery from exercise (Hurst, 2019). And research just published found that the impressive recovery and immunity benefits are actually enhanced over a 5 week period of daily consumption (Hurst, 2020). In 2019 Plant & Food Research commissioned Dr Andrea Braakhuis from the University of Auckland to conduct a meta-analysis on the performance benefits of New Zealand blackcurrants, using already published clinical data. With the positive evidence of performance enhancement (on top of the evidence for exercise recovery and immunity), Plant & Food Research has launched ‘2before Performance Nutrition,’ a new consumer brand subsidiary to sell the Informed Sports certified elite performance food system to athletes around the world
Could a New Zealand berry be the difference between Silver and Gold?
In a 2017 published article by Christensen et al., the researchers investigated the difference in speed between silver and gold at the London and Rio Olympics in events lasting between 45 seconds to 8 minutes (for both males and females). The results showed an average difference between gold and silver in Rio of 0.54% (Christensen, 2017). While the NZ blackcurrant meta-analysis showed a significant 0.45% performance benefit, it is close to being the average difference between gold and silver in Rio and could be the difference in Tokyo. There were events where NZ blackcurrants could have been the difference:
London Olympics 2012:
• Male Swimming 100m Freestyle: 0.02%
• Female Running 400m: 0.30%
• Kayaking K1 Male 1000m: 0.34%
• Male running 1,500m: 0.33%
• Female running 1,500m: 0.07%
• Male Rowing Single Sculls 2,000m: 0.37%
Rio Olympics 2016:
• Female Running 400m: 0.14%
• Male Running 800m: 0.45%
• Male running 1,500m: 0.05%
• Female Swimming 100m Freestyle: 0.00%
• Female Swimming 200m Freestyle:
• Kayaking K1 Male 1000m: 0.33%
• Male Track cycling team pursuit 4,000m: 0.32%
• Female Rowing Single Sculls 2,000m: 0.31%
• Male Rowing Single Sculls 2,000m: 0.00%
Are 2before™ anthocyanins really the best natural
The same research paper by Christensen conducted a meta-analysis of legal supplements for the potential for improving performance. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has identified only five legal supplements with evidence for performance enhancement. Some of these can be found occurring naturally (caffeine from coffee beans and nitrates from beetroot), but most are synthetically manufactured (creatine, sodium bicarbonate and beta-alanine). The NZ blackcurrant meta-analysis has shown a greater performance enhancement than all other IOC approved performance enhancers.
More efficacious than current IOC approved performance enhancers
Are 2before™ anthocyanins really better than caffeine?
Another research paper conducted a meta-analysis on caffeine for endurance performance. This time 46 clinical trials met the requirements and we included. This meta-analysis also concluded that the performance benefits of caffeine as a performance enhancer was 0.41% (Southward, 2018). 2before anthocyanins have a performance effect of 0.45%, being greater than caffeine at 0.41%.
What is a polyphenol?
Polyphenols are a large class of naturally occurring micronutrients found in plants. Polyphenols are secondary metabolites of plants and are generally involved in defense against ultraviolet radiation or aggression by pathogens. Towards the end of 20th century, epidemiological studies and associated meta-analyses strongly suggested that long term consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols offered some protection against development of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Polyphenols and other food phenolics are the subject of increasing scientific interest because of their possible beneficial effects on human health. More than 8,000 polyphenolic compounds have been identified in various plant species. Polyphenols may be classified into different groups as a function of the number of phenol rings that they contain and on the basis of structural elements that bind these rings to one another. The main classes include phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes and lignans.
Favonoids comprise the most studied group of polyphenols. This group has a common basic structure consisting of two aromatic rings bound together by three carbon atoms that form an oxygenated heterocycle. More than 4,000 varieties of flavonoids have been identified, many of which are responsible for the attractive colours of the flowers, fruits and leaves. Based on the variation in the type of heterocycle involved, flavonoids may be divided into six subclasses: flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavanols, anthocyanins and isoflavones. Individual differences within each group arise from the variation in number and arrangement of the hydroxyl groups and their extent of alkylation and/or glycosylation.
What is an anthocyanin?
Anthocyanins (Greek anthos = flower and kyáneos = blue) are polyphenolic pigments that belong to the flavonoid group and are responsible for many of the red-orange to blue-violet colors present in plant organs such as fruits, flowers, and leaves. To date, >700 structurally distinct anthocyanin derivatives have been identified in nature.
How much anthocyanins should I be consuming?
Dietary guidelines for Americans recommend 1.5-2 cups of fruit per day, as observational studies have demonstrated the protective effects of a higher fruit and vegetable intake (Dauchet, 2006). However, just 12.2% of American adults are meeting this requirement. Anthocyanins are specific phytonutrients in plant foods, providing the bright red-orange to blue-violet colours of many fruits and vegetables. Longitudinal dietary analyses have shown that 25mg/day of anthocyanins is the minimum long-term dose required to help decrease the incidence of modern diseases such as diabetes (Wedick, 2012), heart disease (Cassidy, 2016), loss of lung function (Metha, 2016) and weight gain (Bertoia, 2015). Currently the daily intake of anthocyanins is estimated to be only 12.5mg/day/person in the US (Wu, 2006). And according to a 2009 phytonutrients report 8 out of 10 people in the US are falling short in virtually every colour category of phytonutrients: green 69%, red 78%, white 86%, purple-blue 88% and yellow-orange 79% (Nutrilite, 2009). Uniquely 2before™ provide both blue and red anthocyanins, two of your required coloured phytonutrients, meaning that nutritional supplementation with 2before™ would benefit the entire population. However certain populations would benefit more from this nutritional support, and athletes are the highest on the list.
How does 2before™ blackcurrant powder work?
Rather than simply scavenging free radicals, like traditional antioxidants, 2before™ blackcurrant powder switches on the body’s cellular inflammatory and antioxidant systems prior to exercise, optimising the body for peak performance. The Adaptive™ New Zealand blackcurrants in 2before™ blackcurrant powder contain both pro- and anti-oxidants and trigger the master antioxidant regulator NRF2, which provides multiple pathways for enhancing performance – including reducing oxidative stress for improved repair and recovery, enhancing immunity and increasing blood flow, thermoregulation and energy production for fuel efficiency.
Is 2before™ natural and whats in it?
2before™ blackcurrant powder is a natural, food first, nutritional supplement. It contains an effective dose of the potent natural plant-based polyphenol anthocyanins in Adaptive™ New Zealand blackcurrants. 2before™ powder is made by drying Adaptive™ New Zealand blackcurrant juice onto maltodextrin.
Why are New Zealand blackcurrants unique?
In addition to high levels of vitamin C, New Zealand blackcurrants also contain a unique polyphenol anthocyanin combination not available in other berries or blackcurrants grown elsewhere. Anthocyanins provide the red-orange to blue-violet color in many fruits and vegetables and are important in supporting the body’s inflammation and immune defence systems 2before™ anthocyanins from New Zealand blackcurrants contain a unique bioavailable balance of close to 50:50 blue (pro-oxidant) and red (anti-oxidant) anthocyanins.
What’s the recommended dose of 2before™?
Scientific studies show that the minimum effective dose to gain performance and recovery benefits is 0.73mg per pound of bodyweight of bioavailable 2before™ anthocyanins. That’s why each dose of 2before™ blackcurrant powder provides at least 120mg of 2before™ anthocyanins, the optimum quantity for performance and recovery benefits.
Reference: Hurst RD, Lyall KA, Roberts JM, Perthaner A, Wells RW, Cooney JM, Jensen DJ, Burr NS, Hurst SM. Consumption of an anthocyanin-rich extract made from New Zealand blackcurrants prior to exercise may assist recovery from oxidative stress and maintains circulating neutrophil function: A pilot study. Front Nutr. 2019 May 29;6:73. www.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2019.00073
When is the best time to take 2before™?
Studies show that blackcurrant anthocyanins peak in the blood two hours post consumption. In the first two hours anthocyanins are rising in the blood and will deliver maximum impact, therefore the recommendation is to take 2before™ blackcurrant powder two hours prior to moment you want peak performance. This moment is likely to be at the end of the activity so it is best to take 2 hours before when the activity ends.
How do you take 2before™?
The recommendation is to mix 8g (two scoops) of 2before™ blackcurrant powder with 2-8oz of room temperature water in the shot bottle provided (which is designed for multiple use and made from recyclable BPA free plastic).
What does the supplement taste like?
2before™ blackcurrant powder has no added sugar, flavors or sweeteners and has a tart but pleasant berry taste.
Has 2before™ been drug and banned substance tested? Is 2before™ approved for use in sport? / Is the product certified?
Yes, every batch is tested by Informed-Sport. Athletes who see the Informed Sport logo on a product can be satisfied that the product has undergone rigorous testing to ensure that it is not contaminated with banned substances and is safe to use.
About Plant & Food Research
At Plant & Food Research, we believe science can create a better world. That by working together, we can create the world’s most sustainable food production systems, delivering economic, environmental and social prosperity. Day-to-day, this comprises a team of 1,000 people working across New Zealand and the world to improve the way we grow, fish, harvest and share food. With our partners in the agrifood sector, we’re working to deliver a smart green future.
The science behind 2before™
A number of studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals demonstrating the performance and recovery benefits of consuming an optimal, timed dose of Adaptive™ New Zealand blackcurrants.
Frontiers of Nutrition Findings: repeated daily consumption of anthocyanin rich New Zealand blackcurrants supports exercise recovery through the management of oxidative stress and inflammation. The benefits derived from consumption of New Zealand blackcurrants were not reduced by consumption over an extended period. Daily consumption either maintained or enhanced exercise recovery effectiveness, improving anti-inflammatory and immunity markers, suggesting that New Zealand blackcurrant extract primes the body for exercise, switching on antioxidant and inflammatory defences and adaptation rather than scavenging free radicals, like traditional antioxidants.
Frontiers in Nutrition Findings: consumption of a single serve of 0.73mg of New Zealand blackcurrant anthocyanins per pound bodyweight has positive effects on exercise recovery (equivalent to the effective dose provided by 2before™ powder). A separate pilot study found that consumption of New Zealand blackcurrant extract prior to exercise assisted recovery from oxidative stress and supported immune function by maintaining circulating neutrophil function (immunity can be compromised following prolonged or intense exercise).
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Findings: timed consumption of New Zealand blackcurrant extract decreases individual perception of exercise exertion in sedentary adults. Additionally, New Zealand blackcurrant anthocyanins peak in the blood two hours post consumption.
Journal of Functional Foods Findings: compounds found in New Zealand blackcurrants increase mental performance indicators, such as accuracy, attention and mood.
Nutritional Neuroscience Findings: New Zealand blackcurrant extract impacts attention mood and brain wave spectral activity in healthy volunteers
American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative Comparative Physiology Findings: consumption of blackcurrant extract taken before and after exercise helps minimise muscle damage by modulating oxidative stress, modulates inflammation and potentially enhances the body’s natural defences against disease.
European Journal of Applied Physiology Findings: New Zealand blackcurrant extract improves cycling performance and fat oxidation.
American Journal of Physiology Findings: short-term blackcurrant extract consumption modulates exercise-induced oxidative stress and inflammatory responses
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Findings: New Zealand blackcurrant extract improves cycling performance and recovery in trained endurance athletes.
New study shows further health benefits of NZ blackcurrants (Newshub) Pilot study: Blackcurrant extract may aid in post-exercise recovery (NutraIngredients-usa.com) Blackcurrants recovery benefits (Rural News) Blackcurrants benefit exercise, mood and recovery (Radio New Zealand) NZ blackcurrant’s superfood reputation boosted by new research (Newshub) Staying currant (Otago Daily Times) NZ blackcurrants improve mental agility (Radio New Zealand) Brain benefits of NZ blackcurrants hailed by scientists (Stuff) New Zealand blackcurrants good for the brain (ScienceDaily) Blackcurrant juice can prevent aches and pains of exercise (Daily Mail Australia)
Lyall KA, Hurst SM, Cooney J, Jensen D, Lo K, Hurst RD, Stevenson LM (2009) Short-term blackcurrant extract consumption modulates exercise-induced oxidative stress and lipopolysaccharide-stimulated inflammatory responses. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 Jul;297(1):R70-81. www.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.90740.2008
Hurst RD, Lyall KA, Roberts JM, Perthaner A, Wells RW, Cooney JM, Jensen DJ, Burr NS, Hurst SM (2019) Consumption of an Anthocyanin-Rich Extract Made From New Zealand Blackcurrants Prior to Exercise May Assist Recovery From Oxidative Stress and Maintains Circulating Neutrophil Function: A Pilot Study. Front Nutr. 2019 May 29;6:73.
www.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2019.00073 Hurst RD, Lyall KA, Wells RW, Sawyer GM, Lomiwes D, Ngametua N and Hurst SM (2020) Daily Consumption of an Anthocyanin-Rich Extract Made From New Zealand Blackcurrants for 5 Weeks Supports Exercise Recovery Through the Management of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Pilot Study. Front. Nutr. 2020;7:16. www.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2020.00016
Christensen PM, Shirai Y, Ritz C and Nordsborg NB (2017) Caffeine and Bicarbonate for Speed. A Meta-Analysis of Legal Supplements Potential for Improving Intense Endurance Exercise Performance. Front. Physiol. 8:240.
www.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00240 Southward K, Rutherfurd-Markwick, KJ, Ali, A (2018) The Effect of Acute Caffeine Ingestion on Endurance Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med 48, 2425–2441 www.doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-0967-4