Pistachios as a recovery food following downhill running exercise in recreational team-sport individuals



Philpott J, Kern M, Hooshmand S, Carson I, Rayo V, North E, Okamoto L, O’Neil T, Hong MY, Liu C, Dreczkowski G, Rodriguez-Sanchez N, Witard OC & Galloway SD (2023) Pistachios as a recovery food following downhill running exercise in recreational team-sport individuals. European Journal of Sport Science.

We aimed to investigate the impact of pistachio nut consumption on muscle soreness and function following exercise-induced muscle damage. Using a randomised cross-over design, male team-sport players (n = 18) performed a 40-minute downhill treadmill run to induce muscle damage, which was conducted after 2-wks of consuming either control (CON, water), a standard dose of daily pistachios (STD, 42.5 g/d) or a higher dose of daily pistachios (HIGH, 85 g/d). Lower limb muscle soreness (visual analogue scale), muscle function (maximal voluntary isokinetic torque and vertical jump), and blood markers of muscle damage/inflammation (creatine kinase, C-reactive protein, myoglobin, superoxide dismutase) were measured pre (baseline) and post (24, 48, and 72 h) exercise. No trial order effects were observed for any outcome measurement across trials. Mean quadriceps soreness (non-dominant leg) during exercise recovery was reduced (p < 0.05) in HIGH vs. CON (mean difference (95%CI): 13(1-25) mm). Change in soreness in the dominant quadriceps was not different between HIGH vs. CON (p = 0.06; mean difference (95%CI): 13(-1 to 26 mm)). No main effects of time or trial were observed for mean soreness of hamstrings, or on isokinetic torque of knee extensors or knee flexors, during recovery. Serum creatine kinase concentration peaked at 24 h post-damage (mean(SEM): 763(158)µg/L) from baseline (300(87)µg/L), but had returned to baseline by 72 h post (398(80)µg/L) exercise in all trials, with no trial or trial × time interaction evident. These data suggest that high dose pistachio nut ingestion may provide some alleviation of muscle soreness, but no effect on muscle function, following modest muscle damage

Pistachio nuts; functional food; eccentric exercise; muscle damage; acute recovery

European Journal of Sport Science

StatusIn Press
FundersAmerican Pistachio Growers
Publication date online31/08/2023
Date accepted by journal26/07/2023
PublisherInforma UK Limited

People (2)


Professor Stuart Galloway

Professor Stuart Galloway

Professor, Sport

Dr Nidia Rodriguez-Sanchez

Dr Nidia Rodriguez-Sanchez

Lecturer in Physiology and Nutrition, Sport

Projects (1)