Blackcurrants: A Dietitian's View - Shawn Pitcher and Jennifer Ho Podcast

Blackcurrants: A Dietitian's View - Shawn Pitcher and Jennifer Ho Podcast

Shawn Pitcher from the Roots Podcast talks with 2before's Jennifer Ho about her journey as a dietitian, what brought her from California to New Zealand, and how blackcurrant berries are helping athletes perform better.

Key Takeaways From the Podcast

How Blackcurrants Work

Think about a remote-start car and how in the winter you're going to start your car a few minutes before you want to leave so that it's warm and you don't have to wait for your windshield to de-fog.

It's the same idea with blackcurrants.

You take blackcurrants before you exercise to up-regulate your immune system. Then when you're exercising, your defense systems are basically already prepared for the stress that comes with exercise.

5 Things You Should Know About Blackcurrants

  1. New Zealand blackcurrants offer distinct performance effects when compared to those from Europe or Canada due to high UV exposure and unique growing environments.

  2. Prepare you for exercise - The New Zealand blackcurrant pro-oxidants elicit a mild stress on the body (called hormesis) which upregulates our immune system. When you're exercising, your defense systems are already prepared for the stress that comes with exercise.

  3. Offer multiple benefits - blackcurrants support recovery and muscle inflammation management and increased endurance through vasodilation (when blood vessels in your body widen, allowing more blood to flow through them). This vasodilatory effect is different from your typical beetroot and nitric oxide.

  4. Improve athletic performance - We have a meta-analysis that was done on blackcurrant powder that showed a 4.6% improvement in performance just based on all of the studies that were looked at.
    See our studies here.

  5. No loading phase - What's unique about blackcurrants is that there isn't really a loading phase. You don't need to take it for seven days or three days before an event. It's pretty much as simple as: take one or two servings 30 to 60 minutes before exercise. 
    That said, there is data to show there is a compounding performance benefit when taken over longer timeframes.

What Does Blackcurrant Taste Like?

2before has a nice, sweet and tart berry flavour.
It's easy to mix with different electrolytes or you can mix it into a smoothie and it won't take over the flavour.

Timestamps

  • (00:00) Intro 
  • (00:50) Who is Jen Ho? Background and roots.
  • (02:40) Working in professional sports
  • (03:52) Moving to New Zealand
  • (06:59) Career progression and working out what you want to do
  • (07:58) Taking chances
  • (09:39) What is 2before?
  • (10:50) Blackcurrants - what, where and why?
  • (13:12) How blackcurrants improve performance
  • (15:30) What advantages can blackcurrants give to a dietitian, coach or player?
  • (16:51) Benefits for endurance and power sports
  • (18:35) What do blackcurrants taste like? How should you take them?
  • (20:21) How do you test whether a supplement is effective?
  • (23:21) The importance of collaboration with teams, coaches and athletes
  • (25:33) How much should I take? Dosage levels for blackcurrants
  • (28:23) It is working? Biomarkers and mechanisms of blackcurrants
  • (31:37) What's the future for blackcurrants?
  • (33:09) Round up and conclusion

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Jen Ho

Jennifer Ho is a highly accomplished Registered Dietitian with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, a minor in Nutrition, and a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics with a Sports Nutrition emphasis. She is a Registered Dietitian in the United States.

Jennifer has worked with notable organizations such as the Utah Jazz NBA team, the University of Utah Athletics (Ski & Men's Tennis), the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and the USA Volleyball Indoor National Teams.

With her expertise and dedication, Jennifer Ho provides valuable nutritional guidance to optimize the performance and well-being of athletes at various levels, making a significant impact on their success in sports.

Enjoyed this podcast? Check out Jen's other interviews: