Post-exercise recovery: Blood oxygenation increased by wheatgrass

Monitoring the oxygenation of blood during exercise after ingesting wheatgrass juice.

M.C. Handzel, J.C. Sibert, T. Harvey, H. Deshmukh, C.C. Chambers: The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine. 2010 Volume 8 Number 1. DOI: 10.5580/257b

Background: Hemoglobin in the blood carries oxygen to all tissues and cells in the body. One of the main factors that determine how muscle and brain tissue performs is their ability to receive oxygen from the blood. Muscle fatigue and cramping occur after strenuous exercise in large part because muscle tissue cannot receive the oxygen they require for normal energy production, so they turn to anaerobic pathways. This causes increases in lactic acid within muscle.

Clinical Study: Researchers at Mercyhurst College conducted a clinical trial to explore the impact of wheatgrass juice on oxygenation of the blood. Thirty study participants ran on a treadmill for 20 minutes at moderate to high intensity (based on heart rate) while scientists measured oxygen content in the blood by pulse oximetry. All participants performed the exercise testing twice, once after drinking wheatgrass and once after drinking “placebo.” The order of the tests was randomized. When participants consumed two ounces of wheatgrass juice, 15 minutes prior to exercise, they had higher levels of oxygen in their blood as measured. In other words, wheatgrass was able to improve the bloods ability to carry/transport oxygen during exercise. This effect continued for eight minutes after exercise, during recovery.

Conclusion: Wheatgrass increases blood oxygenation during exercise and post-exercise recovery.