Melatonin Enhances Exercise Recovery
A team of scientists from Tunisia and France investigated whether melatonin ingestion has positive effects against exercise induced oxidative stress and muscle damage in young athletes. A recent study is published in Chronobiology International, a journal dedicated to biological and medical rhythm research. The scientists report that the answer is yes.
While intense exercise is good for health overall, it is well documented that it can lead to inflammation, skeletal muscle damage, and oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of oral melatonin ingestion after high intensity late evening exercise on oxidative and inflammatory status the following morning, both at rest and after another round of intense exercise. The findings suggest that a single dose of melatonin (10 mg) after strenuous late evening exercise could protect against oxidative stress and inflammation induced by intense exercise.
Melatonin is a hormone that has long been associated with control of the sleep–wake cycle. As a dietary supplement, melatonin is often used to promote sleep, such as after jet lag or nocturnal work. Melatonin seems to work as sleep aid in these cases, and with limited side effects. But this, and similar studies, are investigating other benefits of melatonin.
Fourteen healthy trained teenagers participated in the study, performing two-test sessions separated by at least 1 week. During each session, participants completed the Running-Based Anaerobic Sprint Test (RAST) at 8pm. Then, they ingested a single 10 mg tablet of melatonin or placebo at 10pm.
The following morning at 7:30 am, the participants performed the same test as the previous night. Blood samples were taken before and after exercise.
Compared to placebo, melatonin intake increased athlete performance parameters such as peak and mean power, and decreased total time and fatigue index. Furthermore, melatonin ingestion improved various blood parameters (such as white blood cells levels) before and after exercise, and reduced muscle and hepatic damage enzymes before and after exercise.
The conclusion of the study is that a single 10 mg dose of melatonin after vigorous late evening exercise could protect against exercise induced inflammation and muscle damage the following morning in healthy teenage male athletes. Therefore, the scientists recommend use of melatonin in this specific case.
Thrivous has published more information about the overall safety of long-term use of melatonin. Most rigorous scientific investigations have addressed the use of melatonin in relation to sleep enhancement, which is a related but different case.
Thrivous develops Serenity Nightly Nootropic to enhance relaxation and sleep. It provides a clinical dose of melatonin in each serving. As suggested by this study, Serenity may assist with exercise recovery. Get Serenity online in the Thrivous store.
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