Nutrition has been increasingly recognized as a key component to optimal sports performance. Though several botanical agents have been reported to possess ergogenic potential, there exists a great interest for tasty and safe natural substances as performance boosters. In the present contribution, the ergogenic potential of a novel powder form of coconut inflorescence sap (CSP) was investigated for the first time.

Out of the fourteen participants recruited, twelve recreationally active men completed the single-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study for 8 weeks. Running based anaerobic sprint test (RAST) and 2.4 km running test were performed as anaerobic and aerobic tests, respectively. In arm 1, the participants were received with either placebo (200 mL water containing 400 mg aspartame/day) or CSP (3 g in 200 mL water/day) for 21 days. After the washout period, arm 2 was performed with a reversed treatment regime. VO2 max was estimated using a predictive formula.

The primary outcome showed a significant enhancement in peak power and mean power (peak power from 3.67 W/kg b. wt. to 5.38 W/kg b. wt.; mean power from 3.47 W/kg b. wt. to 5.06 W/kg b. wt.). A significant (p < 0.001) increase in VO2 max among CSP condition compared to the placebo was observed (from 59.38 ± 2.15 mL/kg/min to 62.56 ± 0.52 mL/kg/min). Further, serum analysis revealed enhanced antioxidant status and reduced lactate dehydrogenase (p < 0.01) levels without any significant changes (p > 0.05) in safety parameters.

It was concluded that CSP possesses significant ergogenic effect and may find wide application as a natural ingredient for sports nutrition and energy drinks.

Trial Registration
The study was registered in Clinical Trial Registry of India (Reg No.: CTRI/2018/03/012551 dated 13/03/2018).

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Published in NFS Journal, v. 23.

© 2021 The Authors

This is an open access article under the CC BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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