Thanks to its impressive content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and phenolic compounds, avocado is widely recognized for its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system.1
These properties could also potentially extend to sportsmen, particularly in terms of helping them recover more quickly from physical exertion. Faster cardiovascular and autonomic recovery post-exercise could, in turn, help lower the risk of cardiovascular complications in that population.
Brazilian researchers conducting this trial evaluated the effects of avocado pulp on recovery after exercise.
It was a 2020 randomized clinical trial with a crossover design, involving 16 healthy females. They were put on two different regimens: the treatment group took 600 mg avocado capsules, while the control group consumed 600 mg starch capsules.
After taking the capsules, women were instructed to rest for an hour. Then, they ran on a treadmill at a submaximal level for half an hour, followed by another hour of seated recovery.
Within the next 48 to 72 hours, the groups switched regimens. Various measurements, such as heart rate and blood pressure, were measured throughout the trial.
Women in the avocado pulp showed faster recovery than those in the control group.
Heart rate remained elevated for less (10 minutes) in the avocado pulp group than in the control group (20 minutes).
Plus, systolic blood pressure was elevated for a shorter period of time in the avocado pulp than in the control group.
Additionally, other heart rate variability measurements as well as skin conductance recovery were improved in women taking avocado pulp capsules.
What Does this Mean?
As evident by the results of this trial, consuming avocado prior to exercise can improve post-exercise recovery. These acute benefits can potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications after physical exertion, thus making it safer for people to stay active.
Since these findings on the benefits of avocado for recovery after exercise, further trials are recommended to gain a better understanding of their application.
- Open Access Scientific Reports, Avocado (Persea americana) pulp improves cardiovascular and autonomic recovery following submaximal running, 2020
- Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. (2013). Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Retrieved February 9, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/