This is the first such clinical trial of Ārepa assessing the benefits of its beverage on the mental capacity of athletes.
The study was conducted by researchers at The University of Auckland and published in the journal Antioxidants.
The company by the same name produces smart drinks containing New Zealand blackcurrants and New Zealand pine bark extracts. These ingredients have been studied for its cognitive benefits.
In this study, 24 healthy rugby league players were recruited and given either 250mL of Ārepa or 250mL of placebo to consume for a week.
On the last day, athletes were tasked with a 90-minute strenuous exercise before undergoing the Stroop test. The Stroop test is a commonly used test in psychology to assess various aspects of cognitive functions.
The researchers observed that those who consumed Ārepa had a significantly improved total score, accuracy and average time to respond compared to the placebo group.
Angus Brown, CEO and co-founder of Ārepa said the clinical results showed his winning formula reduced mental fatigue when you need it most.
“From the sports field to the boardroom, mental fatigue is everywhere. There is increasing pressure to ‘be switched on’ and to function at a really high level at all times. Our formula ultimately improves how the mind works, particularly under stress, in this case physical, and has benefits for all types of consumers.”
Dr. Andrea Braakhuis, lead researcher commented: “While it is recognised physical capability is a major factor in optimal sporting performance, athletes are becoming increasingly aware of the role the mind plays in influencing performance.”
“Optimal cognitive function is beneficial for athletes, not only because performance in many sports requires motor control, coordination, decision making, timing and teamwork, but further, it is important in reducing the stress involved with athletic competition. This study is the first to suggest that Ārepa supports optimal cognitive function after fatiguing exercise,” Dr. Braakhuis said.
Brown told us he had seen an increase in demand from the sporting population: “We're seeing a spike in enquiries from both the sporting performance world through to investors and VC arms of multinationals interested in working with us. It’s an exciting time and we are looking forward to seeing Ārepa improve millions of minds around the world.”
The New Zealand blackcurrant ingredient has also been studied by others for its functions on improving physical performance and recovery in athletes.
Brown said while Ārepa products are focused on cognitive health and performance, he believes his products may have dual benefit in assisting athletes in performance and recovery on the side.
Ārepa is available nationwide in New Zealand, in supermarkets and cafes. The firm recently launched its online store in Australia.
“Our next focus is to launch into the US market by the end of the year. We are also starting to engage with distributors in markets like Singapore, Taiwan, the Middle East and Hong Kong,” Brown added.
Watch the video to find out more.
“Improving Mental Performance in an Athletic Population with the Use of Ārepa, a Blackcurrant Based Nootropic Drink: A Randomized Control Trial”
Authors: Natalie Gibson, et al.