Avocado Speeds Exercise Recovery
Avocados have now been shown to reduce recovery times after exercise.
Avocados have been found in research studies to benefit the cardiovascular system by reducing triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol, reducing blood glucose levels and reducing lipid peroxidation within the bloodstream.
Lipid peroxidation damages blood vessel walls, increasing atherosclerosis and the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Avocados have also been found to reduce high blood pressure.
Avocado also reduces the risk of cancer according to other research.
Now we find avocados can help athletes directly by reducing their recovery times. But this effect isn’t only for athletes: Any type of recovery from a stress or event will be speeded up by avocados according to the research.
Avocados and exercise recovery
Researchers from Brazil’s Sao Paulo State University tested 16 women in a crossover design 2020 study. This means that the women were all tested twice – once with the avocado and once with the placebo.
After eating 600 milligrams of a avocado pulp in capsules (or the placebo), each of the women waited an hour, then ran on a treadmill for 30 minutes and then sat for another hour after the exercise. They were measured for heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance and blood pressure before, during and after the exercise.
The treadmill workout was submaximal, which means increasing intervals up to about 85 percent of maximum heart rate.
The researchers found that when the women ate the avocado, their heart rate, HRV, systolic blood pressure and skin conductance all recovered significantly faster.
The researchers wrote:
“In conclusion, avocado pulp improved cardiovascular and autonomic recovery after exercise, suggesting a reduced risk of cardiovascular events after exertion. The current results support the beneficial effects of ingestion of avocado prior to submaximal treadmill running.”
Avocado for breakfast reduces cardio-metabolic risk
Another study found avocado had similar effects on the cardiovascular and metabolic systems. In this 2018 study, 31 overweight or obese men and women ate avocado for breakfast – or not – on three separate occasions.
For the first breakfast, they ate no avocado but ate carbohydrates with similar nutrient content as avocado. During the second breakfast, they ate a half avocado (68 grams). During the third breakfast, they ate a whole avocado (136 grams).
After each meal, the subjects underwent a battery of tests that included glycemic response, insulin response, cholesterol, flow mediated vasodilation (study of artery flexibility) and others. They were tested up to 6 hours after eating the meals.
The researchers found that the avocado meals improved their blood sugar and cholesterol levels after each meal. The avocado group also had better flow mediated vasodilation, which means their arteries were more flexible after eating avocado.
Sousa, F.H., Valenti, V.E., Pereira, L.C. et al. Avocado (Persea americana) pulp improves cardiovascular and autonomic recovery following submaximal running: a crossover, randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial. Sci Rep10, 10703 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67577-3
Park, E.; Edirisinghe, I.; Burton-Freeman, B. Avocado Fruit on Postprandial Markers of Cardio-Metabolic Risk: A Randomized Controlled Dose Response Trial in Overweight and Obese Men and Women. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1287.