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This one diet tweak will make you a faster runner — and reduce fatigue

A new study shows that this food boosts the ability to run better and quicker.
We've got some berry good news for runners -- a new study from Concordia University finds that cranberries are a track star's best friend, boosting speed by 1.5%.

We’ve got some berry good news for runners — a new study finds that cranberries are a track star’s best friend, boosting speed by 1.5%.

“The beauty of this is that it is all natural,” senior study author Andreas Bergdahl, an associate professor at Montreal’s Concordia University, said in a statement.

“It is an ergogenic aid, meaning that it is performance-enhancing, but it is not an anabolic steroid,” he continued. “Athletes can get this important boost in their performance just by consuming more cranberries.”

The new paper, published in December in the Physical Activity and Nutrition journal, tracked the performances of top runners drafted from the school’s track team and local running clubs for 28 consecutive days after they consumed a cranberry supplement.

Cranberries have noticeable effects on runners, new research shows. Getty Images
Cranberries have noticeable effects on runners, new research shows. Getty Images
Cranberries can help runners improve speed, a study from Concordia University found. Getty Images
Cranberries can help runners improve speed, a study from Concordia University found. Getty Images

Athletes underwent two trials on three separate visits. The purpose of one long and one short run was to determine how impactful the Thanksgiving favorite was on different intensities.

Participants took the extract two hours before the run.

When observing the 1,500-meter test, “noticeable improvements” were found in performance and muscle fatigue. In the shorter, 400-meter run, less lactate buildup was reported. Lactate is a marker for potential muscle fatigue and lack of oxygen.

Researchers Andreas Bergdahl (left) and Francis Parenteau found that cranberries can boost running performance. Concordia University
Researchers Andreas Bergdahl (left) and Francis Parenteau found that cranberries can boost running performance. Concordia University

Cranberry consumption was tied to better oxygen uptake as well.

Researchers also noted that cranberries have high levels of polyphenols, a natural source of antioxidants.

“When it comes to elite athletes, any advantage can make the difference between finishing fifth or on the podium,” added Bergdahl.