High-dose pistachio intake was associated with lower quadriceps soreness during recovery

A study published in the European Journal of Sport Science investigated the impact of pistachio consumption on muscle soreness and function following exercise-induced muscle damage.

A total of 18 physically active men were assigned to three groups and instructed to consume either a standard daily dose (42.5 g) of pistachios, a higher daily dose (85 g) of pistachios or, in the case of the control group, water. On completion of the two-week intervention period, participants performed a 40-minute treadmill run to induce muscle damage. Trials were administered in a randomized crossover fashion with a minimum three-week washout period between interventions. Pistachio intervention or control ingestion was continued on the day of the muscle-damaging exercise and on the following three days. Lower limb muscle soreness was measured pre-exercise and 24, 48 and 72 hours after exercise.

Average quadriceps soreness in the non-dominant leg during the recovery period was lower in participants who had eaten the higher dose of pistachios as compared to those who ingested water. The findings suggest that high-dose pistachio consumption may provide some alleviation of soreness following modest exercise-induced muscle damage.

This study was supported by American Pistachio Growers.

Philpott, J., Kern, M., Hooshmand, S., Carson, I., Rayo, V., North, E., Okamoto, L., O’Neil, T., Hong, M. Y., Liu, C., Dreczkowski, G., Rodriguez-Sanchez, N., Witard, O. C., & Galloway, S. D. (2023). Pistachios as a recovery food following downhill running exercise in recreational team-sport individuals. European Journal of Sport Science, 1–11. Advance online publication.

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