Jenna Fisher, Reilly Beatty and Jen Ho talk about the benefits of blackcurrants for athletes

The Blackcurrant Berry Effect - Eat More Carbs Podcast

How a Preworkout Routine Can Make You a Better Runner Reading The Blackcurrant Berry Effect - Eat More Carbs Podcast 5 minutes

Jenna Fisher and Reilly Beatty (hosts of the Eat More Carbs podcast) talk performance nutrition with 2before's Jennifer Ho. Whether you're after increased endurance or enhanced recovery, Jen has practical tips on how to get more out of your next workout by using blackcurrant berry powder.

Support the podcast (and save) with the code Reilly at checkout for 20% off bulk packs.

Key Takeaways From the Eat More Carbs Podcast

Blackcurrants have a double effect

The anti-oxidant mechanism isn't like tart cherry or vitamin C where it "scavenges" free radicals. There are both pro-oxidants and anti-oxidants in blackcurrants - that combination elicits a mild stress that primes your immune system for the load you're going to get from your training.

How blackcurrants can help your training

  1. A unique combination of anti-oxidants and pro-oxidants - blackcurrants have a unique profile of anthocyanins (about a 50/50 ratio of pro- and anti-oxidants). This delivers a "hormesis effect" where your cells adapt to moderate stress for an improvement in training.
    1. Cyanidins, provide the same strong anti-oxidant and radical-scavenging activity as compounds like tart cherry.
    2. Delphinidins, pro-oxidants which create low-level stress, turning your systems on to prime them for performance.

  2. Daily dosing can boost training results - blackcurrants can have a big effect from one dose, but taking them daily is likely to help your body adapt to training by managing inflammation and enhancing muscle recovery.

  3. Upgrade your endurance - we hear a lot of people talking about how taking blackcurrants before training can improve endurance. That improvement comes from vasodilation (it's not quite like beetroot pathway, but it is similar where it acts on the enzyme in the nitric oxide pathway). 
    Think about getting more bang for your buck; your blood is flowing more efficiently through your body, so the oxygen and nutrients are getting to your working muscles quicker for the same effort that you were working at before.
    Essentially you're going to be more efficient with your training and exercise.

  4. Recovery benefits - we like to call 2before a "precovery" - you take it before your workout but it contributes to recovery. People think of protein to re build your muscles and carbs to replenish your glycogen but it's also possible to think of recovery in the sense of relieving the inflammation that you're having through exercise.

What's it like to use blackcurrants?

I was shocked with how good I felt from a GI standpoint. I have a very sensitive stomach, and I was surprised that it tastes really good because it's hard to find both of those things.

And you're only having 4 to 8 ounces, so it's not too much liquid.

If you're someone who can't really take in food before running, getting your carbs through juice and then taking blackcurrant as well could be a good strategy.


  • (00:00) Intro to the Eat More Carbs podcast
  • (04:37) Jenna and Reilly's experience using 2before in training
  • (05:26) Jen's background in sports nutrition
  • (07:05) Jen's role at 2before
  • (08:17) What is a blackcurrant berry?
  • (08:51) What makes New Zealand ideal for growing blackcurrants?
  • (09:33) The importance of standardising and 3rd party testing
  • (10:16) How to take them for maximum effect
  • (10:58) The effect of combijning antioxidants and prooxidants
  • (11:44) Blackcurrants for recovery
  • (12:10) Blackcurrants for endurance
  • (14:12) How best to use blackcurrants for marathon training
  • (15:20) Great taste and GI benefits
  • (16:45) Mixes well with smoothies and electrolytes
  • (17:55) More on recovery - the Nrf2 process
  • (20:18) Favourite carbohydrate snack for running
  • (20:51) Favourite kicks/shoes
  • (21:28) Round up and conclusion

Unleash your performance with blackcurrant pre-workout

2before blackcurrant pre-workout
2before Blackcurrant Pre-Workout

The perfect partner to take your training and recovery to the next level.

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: