`Drinking Olive Fruit Water Can Aid Exercise Efficiency, Research Suggests - Olive Oil Times

Drinking Olive Fruit Water Can Aid Exercise Efficiency, Research Suggests

By Thomas Sechehaye
Jun. 22, 2023 14:49 UTC

A new study from nutri­tion researchers at Anglia Ruskin University, pub­lished in Nutrients, is the first to exam­ine the exer­cise ben­e­fits of drink­ing olive fruit water.

Olive fruit water is tra­di­tion­ally a waste prod­uct cre­ated dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of olive oil. The olives con­tain polyphe­nols, some of which are pow­er­ful antiox­i­dants.

We found reduced oxy­gen cost and improved run­ning econ­omy… indi­cate (drink­ing olive fruit water) could poten­tially ben­e­fit those who are under­tak­ing reg­u­lar aer­o­bic exer­cise train­ing- Justin Roberts, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor, Anglia Ruskin University

According to Science Daily, OliPhenolia is a com­mer­cially avail­able fruit water that con­tains polyphe­nols and is espe­cially rich in hydrox­y­ty­rosol.

In the study, 29 recre­ation­ally active par­tic­i­pants con­sumed OliPhenolia or a placebo for 16 days. The study found that OliPhenolia con­sump­tion improved breath­ing at the begin­ning of run­ning and oxy­gen con­sump­tion at lower inten­sity lev­els.

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While res­pi­ra­tory para­me­ters were largely unaf­fected at higher inten­sity, par­tic­i­pants per­ceived exer­tion as eas­ier.

This ini­tial study into olive fruit water demon­strated poten­tial antiox­i­dant effects and improved exer­cise effi­ciency,” Justin Roberts, the study’s lead author and an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of health and exer­cise nutri­tion at Anglia Ruskin University, told Olive Oil Times.

We need to do more research to under­stand the impor­tant health and exer­cise ben­e­fits of nat­ural sources of antiox­i­dants such as olives,” he added.

Roberts said that he has long been inter­ested in the exer­cise ben­e­fits of con­sum­ing polyphe­nols, espe­cially those found in cher­ries and beet­roots.

To gain sim­i­lar ben­e­fits from olives, you would have to con­sume large quan­ti­ties daily, which isn’t real­is­tic, so we were keen to test this con­cen­trated olive fruit water,” he told Science Daily.

Like olive oil, it con­tains hydrox­y­ty­rosol, but this olive fruit water is a sus­tain­able by-prod­uct,” Roberts added. It’s typ­i­cally thrown away dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of olive oil.”

However, he said the researchers found a com­pany in Italy, Fattoria La Vialla, a bio­dy­namic farm in Tuscany, who decided to turn their waste­water into a dietary sup­ple­ment.

We found reduced oxy­gen cost and improved run­ning econ­omy, as well as improve­ments in acute recov­ery, indi­cate it could poten­tially ben­e­fit those who are under­tak­ing reg­u­lar aer­o­bic exer­cise train­ing,” Roberts said, not­ing that polyphe­nols are poorly absorbed and highly vari­able from one indi­vid­ual to the next.

Roberts intends to con­duct fur­ther research, includ­ing whether this prod­uct may be help­ful for marathon train­ing and recov­ery and test­ing its ben­e­fit in sup­press­ing exer­cise-related inflam­ma­tion.

This study showed that a sup­ple­ment made from olive oil waste­water that con­tains the phe­nols of olive oil can improve exer­cise per­for­mance,” Mary M. Flynn, a research dietit­ian and asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of med­i­cine and founder of The Olive Oil Health Initiative of the Miriam Hospital at Brown University, told Olive Oil Times.

During exer­cise, the abil­ity to use oxy­gen as quickly and for as long as pos­si­ble is a dis­tinct advan­tage,” she added. This study showed that two-fluid ounces per day of the olive oil waste­water sup­ple­ment in 16 days improved oxy­gen use in recre­ational ath­letes.”

Flynn also high­lighted the issue of taste: While the taste of the sup­ple­ment was not addressed and due to the high phe­nol con­tent, it is likely bit­ter, as only a small daily amount would be needed to poten­tially pro­vide exer­cise improve­ment makes this sup­ple­ment a promis­ing prod­uct that should be fur­ther explored.”


This is an intrigu­ing study, and I look for­ward to more research to under­stand the bioavail­abil­ity and metab­o­lism,” added Layne Lieberman, a food and nutri­tion con­sul­tant and author of Beyond the Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets of the Super-Healthy. What is the com­plete nutri­tional pro­file of olive fruit water? How are the phe­nols being absorbed and uti­lized by the body to improve ath­letic per­for­mance?”

How the olives are han­dled, the ter­roir, pro­cess­ing, vari­ety, stor­age and tim­ing of the har­vest mat­ter,” she told Olive Oil Times. If stored prop­erly, after 18 months, extra vir­gin olive oil starts to oxi­dize. It’s impor­tant to real­ize that dif­fer­ent vari­eties of olives have dif­fer­ent polyphe­no­lic prop­er­ties. We need to under­stand how these vari­ables might impact the health ben­e­fits of olive fruit water for future stud­ies.”

According to Fattoria La Vialla, OliPhenolia is pro­duced with­out heat or chem­i­cal sol­vents dur­ing trans­for­ma­tion. During the milling process, vir­gin olive oil is sep­a­rated from the pulp and water in the fruit.

What emerges is a dense, brown­ish-col­ored liq­uid with pur­ple high­lights. This is cold-fil­tered to con­cen­trate the polyphe­nols fur­ther. Using only bio­dy­namic meth­ods, Fatorria La Vialla empha­sizes that this olive fruit juice is pro­duced with­out chem­i­cals, preser­v­a­tives or harm­ful sub­stances.

Additionally, the com­pany said it uses sim­ple, self-con­tained processes. Essential fac­tors con­tribut­ing to potency include early har­vest­ing so that the olives are less ripe but con­tain more polyphe­nols.

Olives are stored in small crates for trans­port­ing, pressed straight after har­vest­ing in a car­bon-neu­tral mill near the olive groves, and held in a con­trolled atmos­phere to keep oxi­da­tion to a min­i­mum.

Hydroxytyrosol, the main polyphe­nol high­lighted in the study, is known to have pow­er­ful health ben­e­fits. Regular con­sump­tion has been linked to ben­e­fi­cial anti-inflam­ma­tory, anti-can­cer, and skin and eyes pro­tec­tion prop­er­ties.

It is con­sid­ered one of the most potent antiox­i­dant com­pounds among the phe­no­lic com­pounds found in olives.


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